Budgeting

I’m back with another spreadsheet! Once again, it’s a Broke College Student thing – noticing the theme of my life yet? This time around, it’s what I’ve been using to do my budget for the next year. (No, that’s not my budget being shown above – that’s the budget for Asfg Hjkl, who’ll be attending Keyboard Smash University in the fall.)

First off, have a download link. Now, an explanation: I (clearly) am a fairly organized person, and in the process of being so, I tend to make myself some tools. Sometimes I realize, hey, this could be useful for more people than just me! When that happens, I tinker a bit to make things more useable, eliminate any bugs I hadn’t gotten rid of yet, and then make a ‘share-safe’ version by removing any of my personal information. Thus, the completely blank file I’ve given you.

I showed the ‘At-A-Glance’ feature of this spreadsheet in the screenshot above, and it’s probably where you’ll do the most looking (and, perhaps, sighing). When you get started, the first thing you’ll want to do is go to the Settings tab (tabs are at the very bottom of the Excel window) and fill in the length of your three terms. (I built this for three terms, by the way, as that’s the system my school is using. I don’t know enough about any other systems to build alternate versions for other systems.) It’ll take any value in months, and tell you if there’s any problems.

Next, go through each of the Term tabs and fill in the various incomes and costs that you’ll be having. If you’ve got loans, all you have to do to get them properly accounted for is use the word ‘loan’ somewhere in the name. (It detects loans by checking to see if the string ‘loan’ shows up in the name anywhere, but it’s not too smart – if you got, like, a Sloane Scholarship or something, it’ll think that’s a loan. If this is a HUGE PROBLEM for you, let me know, I’ll tweak the algorithm a bit and send you the new version.)

Next, use the Savings and Expenditures tabs to include anything that’ll only happen once – the contents of your bank account being emptied into your school’s coffers, or your buying a new computer for school, that sort of thing.

With that, you should be done – use the At-A-Glance screen to make sure everything tallied up in a way that’s in your favor, and be sad about the world if it didn’t, I suppose. Go use the Scholarship List to try to get more money, I guess?

Alright, folks, enjoy! If you’ve got any questions, bug reports, or just feel like ardently expressing your thanks, hit up the comments section below – I am downright religious about answering them all.