4 Easy Steps to Creating a College Budget

  1. Talk it out. Before building a budget, chat with everyone who will be involved in financing your education. Discuss who is paying for what, expected expenses, financial aid and perhaps opening a new credit card or checking account.
  2. List expenses. Anticipate the costs of textbooks and school supplies, room and board, transportation, clothing and discretionary spending.
  3. Track your spending. Once at school, monitor your spending. Determine needs and wants, and decide which nonessentials you can trim.
  4. Take budgeting to the next level. If you’re in good financial shape, start setting yourself up for the future. Create an emergency fund, for example, or plan for paying off student loans.