Step 3: Counting your cash - set a realistic budget

Sticking to a budget can make a huge difference to your finances.  Check out our Budget Planner  to help get you started:

  • List your income and expenses - income could be money from a student loan or grant, savings you built up if you were working during the summer or your parents may be giving you a regular allowance to meet your day-to-day expenses. 
  • For expenses: include items that you spend your money on. If you are living away from home, you will have additional expenses such as rent, food, heating and electricity to think about. For an idea of student expenses check out the Dublin Institute of Technology cost of living guide 2014/15 If you are living at home you should consider how much money you will need to cover lunches and snacks, transport, entertainment and mobile phone costs. Don't forget to include loan repayments, under expenses.
  • Don’t underestimate your budget. Regularly update your income and costs to ensure you won’t overspend!
  • Have a look at our spending calculator to see how much you are spending on smaller everyday items like lunch or magazines. For instance, if you spend €4.95 on lunch, 5 times a week, you may be surprised to find that you are spending €107.62 a month and even more surprised to find that this works out at €1,291.31 a year. This is just one example where you could possibly make savings.

In order for your budget to work, your total expenses should not be more than your total income. Otherwise you will need to revise your budget. Check out our money saving tips for more ways to save. 

Step 1: Finding somewhere to live
Step 2: Student banking – keeping your money under control
Step 3: Counting your cash - set a realistic budget
Step 4: Pay your bills on time
Step 5 – Money saving tips

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