A budget is a financial planning tool that helps you control and manage the spending of your money. A budget is based on income and expenses. Your income and expenses must be divided into specific categories. This means you must create your own personal budget to reflect what you can afford, your lifestyle, and you must separate your needs from your wants.
This blank template can be used to create a budget.
Create a financial plan for the academic year. Budgeting for the school year
Step 1: Review your expenses. Be accurate and realistic.
Step 2: Review your resources.
Step 3: Explore all possible sources for funding.
Step 4: Monitor your expenses. Do a weekly or monthly budget.
Step 5: Keep an accurate file of all your expenses.
The key to achieving any goal is planning - deciding how much you can afford to spend each day. Goals are easier to achieve if they are written down. They motivate us, add purpose to what we do and give a great sense of accomplishment. A financial plan provides an opportunity to evaluate progress and make sound decisions.
Government Student Assistance Payments:
Government student assistance is paid in two installments, 60% of your entitlement in the fall and the remaining 40% in January. It is important to prepare a financial plan in order to ensure that you budget these lump sum payments carefully. As a result of these payments, many students will choose to pay their tuition fees in two installments. Information concerning payment and fee deferral is available from Student Accounts .
A few other things to keep in mind:
- Enjoy free activities on campus, or at local parks, libraries or galleries.
- Grocery shop with a list. Don't buy at convenience stores where prices are generally higher.
- Plan meals with the thought of the next day's lunch. Brown bagging saves dollars and can be more nutritious.
- Take public transit, bicycle or walk as much as possible to save on transportation costs.
- Long distance telephone calls can be a big expense. Try setting the stove timer for an allotted time to eliminate those prolonged conversations. What about letters or email?
Student Health Care:
Most students (except part-time graduate students) are covered by Supplemental Health Insurance Plans through their student associations. The plans provide coverage for prescription drugs and accident benefits. Family coverage can be purchased.
For details contact University of Toronto Students' Union (full-time undergraduate) (416) 978-4911; www.utsu.ca
APUS (part-time undergraduate) (416) 978-3993; www.apus.utoronto.ca
GSU (full-time graduate) (416) 978-8465; www.gsu.utoronto.ca
Other Web Sites:
You will find useful budgeting information at www.canlearn.ca under Education Savings Calculator.