Budgeting Isn’t a Dirty Word: How to Spring Clean Your Finances

Budgeting Spring

Spring clean your budget!

If you’ve found yourself eating bulk noodles smothered in something labelled simply as “red sauce” at the end of the school year, don’t worry, you’re not the first and you certainly won’t be the last.  There are steps you can start taking to make sure that your summer job income or student loan can stretch into next school year.

I get that budgeting isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but honestly, it’s minimal short-term pain for a whole lot of gain.  Plus, there are all kinds of apps that can help; including a user-friendly colour-coded downloadable template created by yours truly, exclusively for Canadian students.  Once you develop a routine, it won’t take you more than a few minutes each month to stay on track of your finances.

While New Year’s seems to be the time everyone makes resolutions, I’ve always thought spring felt like the more biologically intuitive time to consider new beginnings, especially for students.

With the school year just finishing up it’s a great time to decide what financial habits you’d like to keep going forward, and which ones you’re better off without?  This is essentially what a budget is all about.  It’s not just a bunch of numbers; it’s all about deciding what is truly important to you to help determine what to spend your money on.

I like to explain budgets using the jar analogy.  Think of all the money you’re going to make at your summer or part-time job, through scholarships, etc…  That’s your jar.  Your goal is obviously to pack as much cool stuff into that jar as possible without breaking it and causing you problems such as an overdrawn bank account and overdraft fees.

Your first step is to consider all the major expenses that you don’t really have much choice in paying.  These relatively large stones go in first.  After all, you have to eat, pay the rent, cover tuition, and spring for the odd textbook.  These expenses are non-negotiable.

Next into the jar are the pebbles.  Pebbles are really nice to have, but there’s only room for so many of them once you’ve placed the stones.  For some people pebbles might be a car, a trip, or hockey tickets.    It’s worth your time to really think about which pebbles bring the most pleasure to your life because for most students there will only be room for a select few.

Finally, we have our small daily purchases that add flavour to life.  These seemingly small purchases can add up in a hurry, but individually they’re like grains of sand.  You need to think about how much money you want to put towards activities such as eating out, the movies, and daily double-doubles.  Many students have a tough time getting their “sand expenses” under control and often underestimate just how much they spend here.

Once you’ve decided what’s most important, it’s relatively easy to plug those numbers into your template, budget app, or basic pen-and-paper list.  I recommend creating a monthly budget, but weekly can work as well.  Budgeting isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and should be adapted to allow you the greatest chance to stay on track and realize your goals.

There’s no need to wait until September to get a preliminary budget together.  Look back at the past few months and really check what you spend money on.  Many of us will be shocked when we see how much those high-priced snacks or Saturday nights out cost us over the course of a school year.  Decide what you really want to spend your money on going into next year, and then try not to drift too far off of your plan.  After all, once you’ve decided how to get the most fun out of your jar, there’s no use in going back to the old strategy of breaking it and hoping for the best!

 

Kyle Prevost

Kyle is a teacher by day and personal finance blogger by night. When he isn't limping up and down a basketball court, you can catch him on his soapbox at Birtle Collegiate or providing the answers to Gen Y’s questions over at YoungandThrifty.ca and MyUniversityMoney.com. He is also the co-author of a critically-acclaimed book for Canadian students: More Money for Beer and Textbooks and has written for several of Canada's premier publications including the National Post, Globe and Mail, and Metro News.

You may also like...

53 Responses

  1. I just want to mention I am just new to blogging and definitely savored your blog. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You really come with impressive stories. Thanks a lot for sharing your web site.

  2. blog link says:

    Aw, this was a very nice post. In idea I wish to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and under no circumstances seem to get something done.

  3. I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your web site?

  4. Hey there, You have done a fantastic job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this website.

  5. I just want to tell you that I am new to blogging and site-building and absolutely savored your blog site. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You certainly have beneficial writings. Cheers for revealing your website page.

  6. I was very pleased to seek out this net-site.I wished to thanks for your time for this glorious learn!! I definitely having fun with each little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post.

  7. Hello there, I found your blog via Google while searching for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  8. DanielHam says:

    Водянка головного мозга у новорожденного – Лучевой некроз головного мозга, Болит макушка головы

  9. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I’m hoping you write once more soon!

  10. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  11. Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Excellent task.

  12. porno says:

    Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects? Thank you!

  13. I have figured out some new points from your web-site about computer systems. Another thing I’ve always presumed is that computers have become an item that each household must have for a lot of reasons. They offer convenient ways to organize homes, pay bills, search for information, study, tune in to music and also watch tv programs. An innovative approach to complete all of these tasks is with a notebook computer. These pc’s are mobile ones, small, effective and convenient.

  14. You’re so amazing. Oh my The almighty. Lord bless you.

  15. Best view i have ever seen !

  16. resource says:

    I simply want to tell you that I’m newbie to blogs and honestly enjoyed you’re website. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your website . You really come with outstanding article content. Thanks for sharing with us your web-site.

  17. Hi there! This post could not be written much better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I am going to send this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  18. I do enjoy the manner in which you have presented this specific difficulty plus it does offer me some fodder for thought. Nevertheless, through everything that I have witnessed, I really trust when other commentary pack on that individuals remain on issue and don’t start on a soap box regarding the news du jour. Anyway, thank you for this exceptional piece and while I can not really go along with the idea in totality, I regard the perspective.

  19. My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site. He used to be totally right. This submit actually made my day. You can not believe just how so much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  20. When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Is there a means you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

  21. One other issue is that if you are in a predicament where you will not have a co-signer then you may really need to try to make use of all of your school funding options. You will discover many funds and other scholarship grants that will supply you with funding to assist with education expenses. Thanks for the post.

  22. Best view i have ever seen !

  23. Best view i have ever seen !

  24. Suzan Eustis says:

    *When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  25. Best view i have ever seen !

  26. Wiley Fontes says:

    you have a fantastic blog here! do you need to have the invite posts on my weblog?

  27. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you Nevertheless I am experiencing problem with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting equivalent rss drawback? Anyone who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  28. Thanx very much for helping me. I love sucking dick btw hmu

  29. Saul Elmo says:

    i would love to see a massive price drop on internet phones coz i like to buy lots of em..

  30. בלונדינית מזדיינת חזק וגומרת תוך כדי שהגבר מזיין אותה – זיון חזק ודביק
    נערות ליווי בחיפה

  31. Very good post. I am going through a few of these issues as well..

  32. Your style is unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this site.

  33. If you are searching for the best extreminator company, look no more. These guys are awesome!

  34. I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  35. makeup tools says:

    Excellent blog you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  36. After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it.

  37. Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

  38. backpack says:

    You’re so cool! I don’t believe I have read a single thing like this before. So great to find somebody with some genuine thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with a little originality.

  39. Great article! I’ll return to view your next article! Thank you!

  40. Hey there this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  41. Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put cara bermain joker dealer this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting

  42. free horror says:

    Howdy! I just want to offer you a huge thumbs up for the great information you’ve got right here on this post. I will be returning to your blog for more soon.

  43. 摩托車 says:

    Valuable information. Lucky me I found your website by accident, and I’m shocked why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  44. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such great info being shared freely out there.

  45. Hello.This article was extremely remarkable, especially because I was searching for thoughts on this topic last week.

  46. This is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article.

  47. You’re so awesome! I don’t think I’ve read through anything like this before. So good to discover somebody with a few original thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

  48. Howdy, I believe your site might be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, great site.

  49. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So good to seek out any individual with some authentic thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this website is one thing that’s wanted on the internet, someone with somewhat originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the web!

  50. This is the right website for anybody who hopes to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that’s been written about for ages. Wonderful stuff, just excellent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *