Guide to Budgeting in College for Students

Written by Kayla Tyson at

For many, college is a time of transition from childhood to adulthood — a time when students experience more freedom and responsibility than ever before. One major component of this newfound freedom is financial decision-making. For many college students, decisions about money cause stress and fear due to the immediate and long-term implications of financial decisions. However, by creating a college budget, students can approach this new financial responsibility with confidence. This guide will break down the basic components of a college budget template, provide tips on how to stick to a budget as a college student, and give information about using financial aid during a student’s college years.

Strategically Creating a College Budget
In simple terms, budgeting is the planning and tracking of income and expenses. It is usually tracked on a month-by-month basis and requires a reliable method of organization to track where an individual’s money comes from and goes each month. A college budget will consist of categories, which can vary but might include housing, utilities, transportation, food, savings, debt payments, and entertainment. These categories should prioritize necessary spending first, and then leftover funds can be spent on other purchases.

As students prepare for life beyond college, any budgeting skills they develop now will help them step into new phases of life with financial freedom. At the beginning of the process, students should speak with their parents or guardians about any tips they can share and ask them for support as they learn how to budget as a college student.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article by do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Salisbury University or the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. This is for informational purposes only.

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