If you are totally new to budgeting, stop where you are. You’ll first want to get familiar with these two articles below for a quick and snappy overview:
Before you create a college budget, have your ABCs of budgeting handy to know why budgeting is important, how getting help from an adult or money coach can be helpful, and how to find the right college budget worksheet to fit your personal needs.
How can I seek help budgeting my finances and decide between an adult or a money professional?
Somehow, adults know a thing or two about budget planning.
After all, the mere reality of you being in college shows that financial planning, cutting back on expenses, and contributing to your tuition, room and board were all sacrifices that came with the parental territory – and still are. It’s safe to say that budgeting is what parents do best. And you can, too!
Grab a parent or call them on the phone if you are in school abroad and ask for pointers on budgeting while in college. Ask them where they store their financial information, how they crunch the numbers, and how they think it can help you get a hold of your expenses and save more.
If you’d like the extra helping hand with your money, seek a professional financial advisor or money coach. They will lay out all the fundamentals and get you crunching those numbers like a pro.
How do I find the right college budget worksheet that suits my style and financial needs?
As a refresher for those familiar, the most important part of creating a budget worksheet is ensuring that it is specific to your financial situation and goals. Consider your income AND expenses as the two major components of your finances. Your spending habits, managing tactics, and financial goals are unique to you, so don’t compare yourself to friends or family members with different income sources, expenses, and needs that must be met.
Not only are college budget worksheets a fabulous way to track your finances, but they can also help to keep you organized (and we all know you probably could use a bit of that!). We’ve listed some of the many advantages of starting to budget as a student:
- To take charge of student loan debt
- Work on building credit
- Prepare for emergencies
- Staying clear of bad spending habits
- Plan, save, and control your expenses
- To ultimately grow financially independent and free
- Leads to a happier retirement on the horizon
Now, let’s start with some free college student budget templates for you to download and use immediately!
Free College Budget Templates
Kids’ Money College Budget Template
First off, check out our Kids’ Money college budgeting worksheet for a simple way to track income and expenses! It’s totally free to download.
College Life Made Easy Simple Budget Template
A sweet and simple template designed for college students who want an easy way to manage their cash flow. This budget template gives you a snapshot of the whole month so you can cover more ground on one worksheet!
You’ll find a place to write down your income, expenses, and savings. Your expenses will fall under two categories – fixed and flexible. The former are expenses that stay the same month by month, and flexible means the amount of the expense can vary. Also, remember that you have to describe to download, but it’s easy to cancel anytime.
Microsoft College Budget Template
This notable and no-frills downloadable template gives you a monthly breakdown of your income (shown on the left column) and your expenses (shown on the right). In each column, the categories of income sources are listed, and expenses, fixed and variable combined. The cash flow timeline shows income fluctuation from month to month for an entire year. Once your income and expenses are established, you can begin to discover your monthly cash flow.
At this point, it is your call to how you’d like to use the money left after all expenses are paid. We’d always encourage and challenge you to allocate an amount to your emergency fund and savings. Feel free also to use this as a basis to create your own College Budget sheet.
NerdWallet Budget Planner Worksheet
This uniquely savvy budget template focuses on the 50/30/20 rule. NerdWallet recommends the 50/30/20 way of budgeting, which suggests that 50% of your income goes toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward savings and debt repayment. The budget worksheet shows you how your personal spending compares to the 50/30/20 method. Just fill in the fields of the budget template to get started, and your plan will be generated for you.
Best Colleges Budget Worksheet
A quick and comprehensive budget worksheet that you can use to track monthly, semester, or yearly finances while in college. The Best Colleges Budget Worksheet also gives you an extensive list of income and expense sources that are practical, and that apply to most college students.
UMass College Budget
This printable college budget worksheet helps you determine your financial situation while helping you set goals and create a plan to maintain a balanced budget while on campus. UMass College Budget Worksheet breaks up the expenses into four categories – fixed, variable, periodic, and discretionary. It also features the types of expenses a college student would relate to within each category. Click here to get started with this worksheet.
Savor and Savvy’s Free Printable College Budget Template
Monitor your monthly and yearly cash flow, as well as your savings, with this 3-page printable college budget template for beginners. Accompanied by its energetic print, you’ll get a complete trio – monthly budget, yearly budget, and savings tracker. This template is completely customizable so that you can fill in your categories based on your own personal financial situation.
The savings tracker lets you track up to four of your savings goals. For each one of the savings goals, you can record the purpose for your savings and the needed amount. A great visual incentive is when you save over your projected amount, you can color a portion of the jar to see your progress in an inspiring way.
You can also access this printable by subscribing to Savor and Savvy’s email list, where you will instantly receive the budget template and savings tracker sheets.
Mom’s Budget College Student Worksheet
This simple yet essential college worksheet covers many basics for you to choose from when mapping out your budget on paper. Like a few of the other budget templates we came across, it shows you your budget by month, semester, and school year, so you can choose how you’d like to view your budget progress.
MOS College Student Budget Template
Similar to the previous templates mentioned, it is very straightforward and ideal for students who need minimal direction on recording their information and making the most of their budgeting template. There are four main categories: income, expenses, variable expenses, and savings.
Instructables’ Excel College-style Budget
If you want to start budgeting from a blank canvas, give Microsoft Excel a try. If you equally care to know how to create a budget template from scratch and turn it into your own personalized budget plan, look no further!
Excel’s College-style budget is perfect for visionaries and includes steps and tutorials for college students to follow when creating their budget worksheet.
Mint College Budget Worksheet
We can round off with this final budget template that is quick and easy to use and will guarantee you spring into action towards budgeting.