Income > Expenses
So now that Financial Aid and recent paycheck has direct-deposited funds to your checking account, it's time to go on a spending spree, right? Time to shop for new furnishings for the dorm, new cell phone, new computer, new clothes, new tunes, snacks, and sodas! Not so fast...
For many students, attending college is the first experience living away from home. Students can easily be tempted to spend their entire semester of student loan funds or college money from parents before the first week of classes. A few things to remember:
- The costs of tuition, school and campus fees are automatically taken out of your awarded amount prior to deposit.
- Financial aid, scholarships, and other grants are typically awarded and deposited in your checking account at the beginning of each semester. These funds are provided to cover your expenses the entire semester.
- You are responsible for how you pay expenses. Books and supplies are usually the first major expense a student encounters. Monthly expenses like rent, utilities, cellular phone, food, toiletries, and other living expense will need to be paid throughout the semester.
Living Within Your Means
Living within your means is simple: spend less money than you make. Many students, however, believe that managing their cash or budgeting is hard. It's not! Try this easy exercise:
- Take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle.
- Put "Income" on the left side and list all sources of cash coming in. This can include your financial aid funds, monthly income from a job, money from parents, or other sources.
- Put "Expenses" on the right side and list all costs of cash going out. This can include rent, utilities, cellular phone, food, insurance, medications, entertainment, and others.
- Cash management is making sure your expenses are less than your income. This snapshot could help determine if you need to increase your income or reduce your spending habits.
Need help? Use this Income and Expense Worksheet.
How can Student Money Management Services help?
SMMS can provide KU students the tools to plan an effective budget to gain control of their expenses.