02 Jun 2016

Budgeting 101: How to Budget for Your Studies

An important consideration when deciding to pursue your studies, careful budgeting is needed to ensure you don’t fall short financially for school fees. Planning a budget includes segregating budgets wisely, thinking long-term and dedicating budgets for all areas of your life.

As complex as it might sound, these 3 simple rules will guarantee you a much simpler time to getting that budget planned.

Over Budgeting
The initial and most difficult part of budgeting is getting down to the dollars and cents. How much budget should you actually allocate and how much is sufficient? Well, the only way around this is to do a quick check online, talk to your school’s administrators and plan for excess budget.

Over budgeting works well for two good reasons. With a slight surplus in funds, you would not have to rack your brains and re-budget every time fees cost more than expected. Secondly, any surplus in a budget can be reallocated to another budget, this in turn ensures that you will always be prepared for any financial setbacks.

Be Prudent
Whether you are a full- or part-time student, being prudent is your best bet to not taking on a second study loan or breaking the bank. Small savings from every aspect of tertiary life can surmount to a sizeable sum.

Saving money on textbooks is a great way to stay prudent. Tertiary textbooks can easily cost more than $300 a module and could cost close to $1000 to $2000 annually. A good way to stay prudent is to make that extra effort and head over to a second-hand book store, or purchase a digital copy which would cost significantly less. Not only would you be saving money but doing your part for the environment.

Emergency Fund
Many students underestimate the importance of having an emergency fund.  When planning your budget, you should also factor in miscellaneous bills like administrative fees, additional textbook purchases or module retaking – all of which can add up to a hefty amount. Moreover, you can use your emergency fund to pay for medical bills and overseas exchange trips.

Having set aside a dedicated emergency fund ensures that you won’t be caught off guard financially. If you are lucky enough not to run into any financial emergencies, this fund can double up as a bonus fund for your graduation trip! 

Have your study budgets in order and looking at your next step? Embrace your learning journey here.