The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
College students have it tough trying to juggle everything: classes, work, relationships, self-care, and, worst of all, finances. Finances are a leading cause of stress for most people, especially college students. Students are getting jobs and have to handle their own money without the shadow of mom and dad looking over their shoulders. Students are stuck with the responsibility of knowing how to handle their finances without being given any advice or tips for managing their money.
One thing that could help organize students organize their finances while keeping track of all spending and bills is budget sheets. Many have seen the glorious budget binders on TikTok, but in this case, you don’t have to spend money to organize them. Here are a few tips to help you learn exactly where your money is going.
Understand your own finances
Start by writing down each monthly bill you have, such as subscriptions, phone bills, car payments, insurance, etc. Once you have that down, you can add them up to have the total amount you spend on monthly bills. If your bills are higher than your checks (and you get paid twice a month), a method you can use is splitting your bills in half. You can base the split on which bills are charged at the beginning and which are towards the end of the month. By splitting your bills in half, you will know how much to set aside from each check for bills only. You can organize this in different ways.
Option 1: create an excel sheet
An excel sheet allows you to update it whenever you want, and it will automatically save. You can set up a total of your income and subtract each bill taken from that check until you see what is left over. Once you have that, consider your other expenses, such as groceries, gas, planned outings, etc. Once you have that figured out, you now can spend freely with the money you have left.
Option 2: create your own budget binder
Withdraw the money you need from your bank and set it aside. Put all the money in envelopes, zip lock baggies, or containers and start labeling what it is for. Keep track of the amount and dates of how much you are putting in or taking out. Doing this allows the money you need for bills and other planned expenses to be out of your account and out of the temptation. It also allows you to physically see the money and put it visually aside from what you need to give that payment.
These are just a few creative ideas to keep track of your finances without any headaches or confusion. Whatever helps you understand your personal finances best is fine. No one can say you are doing it wrong because everyone processes things differently, even money, so find a method that works best for you!