Establishing a budget is key, especially when an emergency occurs. In order to manage your budget, you will need to identify both your income and your expenses. It is also important to identify your needs versus your wants during this specific period. For example, this may be a good time to cancel subscriptions like Netflix over the short term.
Goal-based budgeting is creating a budget without any consideration of what has been spent in the past. Each item is evaluated individually based upon the goals you have set for yourself and/or family.
There are tons of budget websites out there (Mint is a popular option), plus you can always go old school with an Excel spreadsheet. Either way, just make it happen! Input income if you have it; if not, use whatever you have in a monthly allowance/savings or what you plan to get in aid, scholarships, loans, or grants.
- 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.
- List expenses. Anticipate the costs of textbooks and school supplies, room and board, transportation, clothing and discretionary spending.