While University charges are fixed, many other expenses are variable based on your situation. The basics of budgeting are the same for students as they are for anybody else: list the source of your income, such as financial assistance from Washington University or outside scholarships, financial support from your parents, and income from your job if you choose to work on or off-campus. Then, list your expenses: tuition, housing, food, books, groceries, entertainment, etc. in as much detail as possible.
The Student Budget Planning Worksheet is designed to help you plan some of these variable costs, and get a clearer picture of the money you need throughout the academic year. Select the button on the left menu to login to My FA Access, where you can view the Student Budget Planning Worksheet, and use these tips to develop your budget:
- Gather your pay stubs, check book record, and bills for the last two or three months. Use these to make sure you are including all income and expenses.
- For each expense category, think about your hobbies and habits and try to determine a budget amount that realistically reflects your actual expenses.
- Review your budget and set targets for the future in each category.
- Take an in-depth look at your largest spending categories, and set realistic goals.
- Think of your budget as a plan to help you manage your money over time, and modify your budget as appropriate.