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Budgeting for College

I have many great qualities, and then I have some iffy ones… (name that movie!) but I think no one will ever say that I’m great at handing my money. I had a job for 6 months in my senior year of high school, and aside for some clothes and shoes, I really didn’t do anything responsible with my money, like start to save it.

However, I recently got a job at a Best Buy near my school, and if everything goes well I should begin making money on Sunday! I also recently began separating myself from my joint bank account I hold with my father. It was time I start making my own money and saving it responsibly! I opened a student account at PNC Bank with virtual wallet – highly recommend!

Yesterday I made two giant steps in the right direction. I created a budget spreadsheet and a list of things I want, both using Google Drive. For the moment, these aren’t for any other purpose than just tracking what I tend to spend money on. Once I have that info, I’ll be able to decide what I need to spend less on.


In my To Buy spreadsheet, I list major purchases (I consider them major if they aren’t coffee or gum) in two categories: things I will buy with my own money, and things my dad will buy for me. I am *super lucky* that my dad will still help me out with things that I need for school.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 6.40.05 PM

As you can see, the only two items I have listed for my dad to get for me right now are a laptop case and some nail stuff I needed to make my nails presentable before I start work. Items on the left are color coded based on urgency – green for immediate and yellow for priority. First and foremost, my money has to going to paying my dad back for a camera he bought me. However, other things have prior time constraints, like my brother’s birthday which is in 3 weeks. I’m going to have to buy his present before I send the money to my dad, but I want to keep my priorities straight. I will cross out items I purchase.

Next, I have the actual spending tracker. I’m going to make a new sheet each month so I can track the totals.

September 2014

September 2014

I have this spreadsheet separated into individual days… I will write the total amount I spend via my shared account or personal, and if I put money into savings, and every time I get paid or receive some sort of gift money.

Hopefully this helps if you have any questions on how to create a budget! Both of these documents only took me a matter of minutes to construct, so it should be pretty easy for you to do the same!