Creating a university budget template

Taking your first steps towards (financial) independence.

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University is an exciting time for students all over the world. It involves meeting new people, learning in a more explorative environment and having a significant amount of independence. University is also the first step you'll take towards financial independence, so there's no better time to learn about budgeting. This guide will take you through the essentials of a university budget template.

Why do you need a university budget template?

#1 University is an expensive place

University is hardly a cheap place. Textbooks, accommodation fees or rent and a night out with friends could really amount to huge costs. The last thing you want to happen is to run out of cash and ask your parents for more. That's a huge warning sign to them that you're not mature enough to manage your money.

#2 Independence comes with decision-making

Should you spend on that new laptop? Is that price too expensive for groceries? Am I spending too much on takeout food? Independence means less time with your parents and fewer opportunities to ask for help. Financial decisions will end up falling onto your shoulders. A university budget template could help you make more responsible decisions.

#3 Set the foundations for your financial future

There's no better time to prepare for "adulting" than university. Creating a university budget template could help you pick up responsible financial habits that could go on to influence your spending as an adult. Additionally, saving up in university could put you in a better financial position when you graduate. Most fresh graduates spend up to a year searching for their first job. Instead of moving back in with your parents, you could have a good financial cushion to fall back on during this period.

What should you include in your university budget template?

Here are some spending categories to consider when making a university budget template:

  • Food: monthly food hall plan costs, grocery bills, dinner and drinks costs
  • Tuition and school-related fees: tuition fees, textbook costs, student-exchange program fees, special program fees
  • Housing: housing rent or accommodation fees, or cost of purchasing basic cleaning materials
  • Transportation: public transport costs or the price of purchasing a bicycle

How to make your budget work

Creating a university budget template is easy – sticking to your budget is the hard part. Traditionally, you might be encouraged to note down each transaction you make and categorise these expenses each month. But let's be honest, do university students have time for that? Precisely! That's where smart money management tools come in.

Popular budgeting apps, like the Finder app, are great tools to manage your money. It helps you link your bank accounts, debit cards and investments into a single dashboard. This means you can get an overview of your finances any time you need to. You can also track your transactions, monitor your credit score and shop around for great savings deals – all for free. Learn more about the Finder app here.
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