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Create a Budget

 

What's a Budget?
A budget is the outline of all your expenses in realtion to your income or how much money you have to spend. The less money you have, the less you should plan to spend.

 

Creating a Budget
Open a spread sheet and in one column write down all expenses with out forgetting to put "Tuition", "Rent", "Utilities" and "Food" at the TOP of your list. A budget will not only help you to spend within your means, it will also insure that you know and can see how much money you are spending every month. See example below:

 

Expenses for Month of October (Shared)
EXPENSES COST$ NOTES
Tuition 0 Paid in September
Rent 400  
Utilities (heat, light, phone, cable, internet) 46 Utilities split between 'x' number of people
Food 143  
Transport 70 Monthly bus pass
Personal 20  
Medical 0  
Entertainment 50 Breezeway Open Mic and drinks
Emergency 100 ALWAYS have at least this much for emergencies
other 0  
TOTAL 829  

 

If you don't share a residence with someone else you can create you own unique budget. Generally if you are planning on living by yourself you will probably be paying more money at the end of the month because you will not be sharing utilities with anyone else.

 

The following table illustrates a budget for someone who lives alone:

 

Expenses fot Month of October (Single)
EXPENSES COST$ NOTES
Tuition 0 Paid in September
Rent 400  
Utilities (heat, light, phone, cable, internet) 120 Utilities split between 'x' number of people
Food 143  
Transport 70 Monthly bus pass
Personal 20  
Medical 0  
Entertainment 50 Breezeway Open Mic and drinks
Emergency 100 ALWAYS have at least this much for emergencies
other 0  
TOTAL 903  



Budgeting Tips
Below is a list of things you can do to spend within your monthly budget:

  • When you go shopping take a list with you and, no matter what, stick to it (such as a grocery list).

  • Use cash when buying groceries. It forces you to stay on budget and it gives you an idea of how much you've spent.

  • Buy generic food brands or store brand foods - they're not that much different than your usual brand anyway e.g. Compliments (Sobey's) or President's choice (Dominion's).

  • Canned food is cheaper and it lasts longer.

  • Try buying juice from concentrate as it saves on both cost and space!

  • Try to buy economy sized packages (large portions) as you can get more product for your money - you can separate the contents into smaller portions when you get home, and then freeze or refrigerate what you can't use right away for later.

  • Always try and use cold water when doing laundry as it saves on your heat bill and it's environmentally friendly.

  • If you can (weather permitting) walk or bike home from MUN. It saves you the extra bus ride and it's a great exercise.

  • Bring a calculator with you when you go shopping, and know how much you are going to spend as you shop. Be sure to include sales tax (13%) when you are figuring out how much you can spend.

  • Cook large meals and refrigerate or freeze some for later. This is cheaper than buying prepared meals, and it's just as easy to re-heat!

  • Share your expenses as much as possible with your roommates, particularly if you're buying something for the house like toilet paper or dish detergent. For example, if you and your roommate(s) like the same brand of rice, you can buy one package and split the cost.

  • Monitor your heating costs. In the morning before you leave for campus turn the heat down a little and turn it back up when come back at the end of the day.

  • Shop around to determine the BEST deal. If you're looking for a couch go to a second hand store like Value Village or Traders and explore the possibilities. Or visit a garage sale.

  • Buy things you know can be re-used like cloth towel instead of paper towels for cleaning.

 

Here is a list of Suggested Purchases for First-time Off Campus students.

 

Still have questions? Email our housing coordinator: czhu@mun.ca

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