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Budgeting as a student is different than as someone receiving a regular paycheck. It is easier because you pay set amounts for tuition and fees. However, it is more difficult because budgeting based on funds from loans is complicated by the fact that student loans are often made in two or three annual lump-sum payments. Faced with a large amount of cash-on-hand, you may find it difficult to keep in mind that a loan of several thousand dollars must cover expenses for nine or twelve months. Prudent money management will insure that you do not use all of your loan money within the first few months of receiving it. Two important strategies for dealing with semi-annual or tri-annual lump-sum payments are:
A positive attitude will help to make budgeting successful. Try to view the budget as a means of insuring that you can meet all of your obligations with your available resources rather than as restricting your lifestyle. The M1 budget worksheet is intended to assist you in effectively budgeting and analyzing your monthly cash flow.
AAMC FIRST Interactive Worksheet
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