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Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Create a Budget in 3 Steps

Budgeting is the key to controlling your money and yet, most college student don’t do it. Budgeting allows you to manage your finances and set yourself up for a successful financial future. Review the steps and tips in creating a budget and download the printable budget to get started.


1. Review your financial goals to determine how sources of income should be responsibly spent.

One of the crucial steps in creating a budget is creating goals. Those who are financially successful did not get there my accident- they spent time formulating and writing down their goals.
When establishing a budget, you should have short, intermediate, and long term goals. The length of time associated with short, intermediate, and long term is up to you! For some, long term might be next semester, while for others it might be 5 years from now. We suggest you use the SMART Goals criteria. SMART stands for Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Time Bound. In order for your goals to be met, they should include each part of the SMART criteria.
2. Track your spending to identify how you are spending your money now.

When tracking your spending, there are four main things to keep in mind: how much you spend, how you pay, when you buy, and what you spend money on. Tracking your spending can have two huge benefits:

  • It can help you identify how you are currently spending your money. Until you know what you are spending your money on, it can be difficult to make an accurate budget. By tracking your spending for a month, you will gain a better understanding of your financial habits.

  • If budgeting is new to you, it is especially important  to continue tracking your spending to make sure you stay on track.

3. Revisit and revise your budget.

Don’t hesitate to review and modify your budget. There is nothing wrong with making changes, but only make a few small changes at a time.

To Download the interactive budget form Right Click here and choose "Save Link As" and save to your desktop.

After the download is complete open the form from your desktop.