Tips for students on a college budget

By Brittany Gregg, Opinion Editor

For college students, saving money, or at least having money in your pocket, is vital. Whether one needs money for an emergency, to pay tickets, bills, or day-to-day meals, money is a must have.

But what about the times when a person doesn’t have money and finds themselves calling mom and dad to spare some cash? Or asking friends for their spare change? What about when students overdraw their accounts and owe more money than they can pocket in two weeks?

For off-campus students, being financially aware and responsible becomes a taste of post-college responsibility—essentially, growing up.  It is important that students keep in mind housing, transportation, insurance, food, pets, personal care, social items, entertainment, loans, taxes, savings or investments, gifts and donations, and legal costs. All of these begin to add up and should be kept record of.

UA’s Off-Campus Student Services makes it easy for students to understand the importance of a monthly budget with an online spreadsheet. Students can fill in their projected monthly income, actual monthly income, projected balance, actual balance, and difference in a variety of areas.

Areas where students are to insert their projected cost, actual cost, and difference fall under:



mortgage or rent, electricity,

gas, water and sewer, cable, waste removal,

parking, internet, maintenance or repairs,




vehicle payment, bus or taxi fares,

insurance, licensing, fuel, maintenance.



home, health, life, and renter’s.



groceries, dining out, and other.



food, medical grooming, toys.


Personal Care and Social Items

medical, hair or nails,

clothing, dry cleaning, health club, phone,

and organization dues or fees.



videos or DVDs, CDs, movies,

concerts, sporting events, live theater.



personal, student, credit cards.



federal, state, local.


Savings or Investments

retirement, investment.



attorney, alimony, payments online, judgement.


The purpose of Off-Campus Student Services’ spreadsheet is for students to gain a sense of their projected monthly incomes and comparing that with their actual monthly incomes, after adding up all the expenses within the spreadsheets categories. This spreadsheet could be an eye-opener for students that have never considered how many of these various costs add to their more noticeable expenditures they pay daily or monthly. It is important that students are aware of their spending habits and begin to take more financial responsibility as they enter the working world after graduation.

The spreadsheet can be found in the links on the bottom of Off-Campus Student Services’ homepage: <>.