Budgeting for beginners

Money is how the world goes round, but how is it possible to keep money without spending it on everything? The answer is simple enough: budgeting. But actually doing the budgeting is much harder.

“The basic reason [for a budget] is to make your money go further. Assign a job of where you want your money to go. Don’t spend money willy-nilly, make a budget and stick to it,” said Director of Technology Andy Ey.

Students make a different amount of money than their parents, as minimum wage is a common starting point for students. However, the same budgeting rules apply to everybody. The 50/30/20 rule is the most basic and the easiest way to budget — 50% of each person’s income should go to  needs – essentials, like paying for car insurance; 30% could go for wants like buying clothes or other items; and 20% toward savings, whether that is saving for a Spring Break vacation or for college.

Various apps, like Mint, Pocket Guard, and Every Dollar, were created for the purpose of budgeting. These apps are free and help to manage your budget based on your income and your expenses. Another great way to manage a budget is to use an Excel spreadsheet.

A common concern for students is saving enough money for college. The cost of college depends heavily on the college and the individual program. The best way to find the cost is to do research, and find opportunities to reduce the cost.“I had a friend that I worked with at my previous school [that] when he went to college he went to the University of Dayton. Dayton is extremely expensive. One of the things that he did when he finally got onto campus was he went to his professors. He started talking to the financial aid office to try and find different scholarships that he could apply for, different research opportunities he could get involved with, and paying jobs around campus. By the time he graduated, he was receiving more money from scholarships and job opportunities than he was paying for the school,” Counselor Matt Wehrman said.

Photo courtesy of: moneycheck.com.

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