What’s a budget?
A budget is a guide that helps you reach your financial goals. When you’re making a big life change, like beginning school or a training program, having a budget can help you keep on track.
Make your own budget
There are many ways to make a budget –you might use a pencil and paper, a spreadsheet, or specialized budgeting software. However you go about it, include two main components:
Income: Include your pay from any jobs you have or expect to have, financial aid you expect to receive, and any other income sources you have.
Expenses: Include your education expenses (see How much will it cost? to help estimate them) as well as other living expenses such as rent, utilities, food, child care, transportation, health insurance, etc.
For more details, get started with the Creating Your Budget Guide from the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Financial Aid Office.