Budgeting During a New Semester

When a new semester starts up, it can be hard to budget money. You need to buy textbooks, school supplies, and food, among many other expenses. Plus, it can be hard to work during the semester when you have classes and extracurriculars to worry about as well. However, it is still possible to create a budget and stick to it. First, I would recommend estimating the amount of income you will earn for this month. If you can do that, it would give you a good starting point from which you can base the rest of your budget from. Next up, you should list all of the expenses you can think of during the month that are recurring  or expected. For example, if you have a Netflix account, you know that you will be paying a certain amount of money for it every month. That is something you can budget for. Gas for your car is another expense that you can estimate, probably somewhere around $100 a month depending on how much you drive. If you can accurately estimate both your income and your planned expenses, you will be well on your way to creating a solid budget. Of course, we all have unplanned expenses as well. Depending on how much money you want to save, you will have more or less money to spend freely during the month. You never want to dip into your previous savings if you can help it. Of course, this is not always feasible. Regardless, creating a budget is crucial to becoming and staying disciplined in the realm of personal finance.

Usually, I like to set my goal as saving a certain percentage of my income. I divide the calendar year into different periods, such as the time I am home from the summer (end of May to end of August) and the time I am enrolled in school, including winter break (end of August to end of May). I like to do this because the summertime is where myself and a lot of other students work full-time. I like to set monthly savings goals as well as overall savings goals for the period. However, there are many ways to create a budget.

Truthfully, if you want to be financially literate, you have to find a way to incorporate some semblance of budgeting into your life. With the right tools, I have confidence that you will succeed in bringing yourself one big step closer to financial literacy.

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