Money Management and Budgeting

How to manage your money

Often, college is the first time you’re managing your own money without the help of an adult. The best way you can make sure you’re keeping track of your expenses is to create a budget, or a spending plan.

To get you started, print out our Budget Worksheet (pdf, 121KB).

Budgeting empowers you!

A budget allows you to organize your finances so that you are in control, not guessing whether or not you are able to meet your expenses every month. Developing and following a spending plan should be an empowering experience. With a little preparation and foresight, you can save yourself a lot of money and stress!

Check out SUNY's new SMART TRACK Financial Literacy tool. This tool can assist you with budgeting, and much more.         

Tips for spending your money wisely

  • If you receive a financial aid refund, the money is meant to cover your unbilled educational expenses, like books, travel, rent (if living off-campus), etc.
  • Keep track of your tuition bill and aid. Check BU Brain and QuikPay often.
  • Understand your income and expenses. Review what’s coming in and going out on a monthly or weekly basis.
  • Keep copies of your bills, record the amount paid, method paid, and date payment was made.
  • Purchase used instead of new books.
  • If living off-campus, find a roommate(s)!
  • Consider purchasing a commuter meal plan if you live off-campus so that you know you won’t be without food.
  • Need to furnish your apartment? Check out the Salvation Army, America’s Attic, or other Goodwill stores.
  • Get a part-time job and get involved in the community by offering a service in your such as shoveling, computer work or dog-walking.
  • Be creative when going on a date or an outing with friends. “It’s the thought that counts!”
  • If your parents or others contribute toward your expenses, have an open and honest conversation about the expectations of this assistance.  Is it a loan or gift? Will the help run out one day?

Budget Worksheet

Budget Worksheet (pdf, 121KB)

SUNY Smart Track

SUNY Smart Track (financial literacy tool)

Last Updated: 6/19/15