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Learning to thrive on a student budget

Budgeting may be a difficult task for many students to handle while balancing school, social life and working. For those seeking help with budgeting, there are many options available.

Resources Offered by BYU-Idaho

The university has financial workshops that students may attend. For a full list of workshops, as well as dates and times, visit the university website.

The workshops include topics that help students learn to manage money, control debt, save and more.

Each workshop caters to the needs of the students.

According to the website, the budgeting workshop helps organize income, expenses and identify a plan to budget.

In addition to the workshops, Student Support offers financial mentors to help students be accountable for their budgeting goals. Students can request a mentor through the same website listed above by clicking on the link that says “request a mentor.”

Track Your Spending

One option to track spending habits is to use a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. Every student has access to this program.

“Excel can be a great tool for setting up and maintaining personal or family budgets,” said Jennifer Pack, a math faculty member. “I’ve used it for years and it’s been a blessing in my life. It’s intuitive and fun to learn and there are abundant resources that can help anyone master the basics. With such a useful tool at their fingertips, students can learn to live within their means, save for emergencies and for the future, and feel the blessings of having their ‘financial houses’ in order.”

She further explained that having a budget can help alleviate some of the stresses in marriage and family life.

Basic Necessities

Many students spend their money on food, clothing and media. In some cases, students might need to learn to restrain themselves from buying things that they don’t really need.

“A big part of budgeting is being realistic about what you have and what your priorities are,” said Kierstin Mortensen, a junior studying environmental geoscience. “It helps to make a list for things; for example, if you take the time to plan out what classes you need to take, you will save money by not taking classes that aren’t relevant to your major.”

She explained that sometimes it can also mean learning to spend less on certain brands or not spending as much money on things that are convenient, like fast food.

“If you’re going to the market, it is much cheaper to buy whole ingredients and to cook for yourself,” Mortensen said. “It might be more convenient to go out to eat or to just buy junk food but that adds up quickly. The easiest solution isn’t always the best.”

Students can use this information to learn more about budgeting and saving money.

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