Budgeting with Financial Aid

With Fall fast approaching, students everywhere are leaving their nests to set off to college. With more and more students taking loans to finance their education, however, learning how to budget and live off student loans is more important than ever.

The hardest part about budgeting with student loans is that you get it all at once. With a pile of cash in the bank, it’s just too easy to look at your bank balance and think you have more to spend than you really do, leaving yourself short in the months ahead. To make sure you don’t overspend, treat your student loan like an income you receive over time. If you’re borrowing 6,000 to pay for the next four months, treat it as a monthly budget of 1,500 (6,000 / 4 = 1,500) that you’ll need to maintain each month. That way, you can be sure you’ll have enough to cover your needs till your next loan disbursement.

In Goodbudget, you can do this by clicking “Add Transaction”, going to the Income tab, and recording an income for the total loan amount to your Unallocated Money.

Then, head to the Fill Envelopes page, choose the Unallocated tab, and distribute a monthly portion to your Envelopes.

With your Envelopes filled, you can track your expenses and keep pace with your budget. When the next month rolls around, return to the Fill Envelopes page and distribute the next month’s portion.

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