Free College Student Budget {download}

A free college student budget for your freshman or incoming college student that’s easy to use!  This is my favorite budget template that I’ve used for decades for money management and my monthly budget.

Using this college student budget is a simple way to forecast finances, at a glance know how much money you have, and how much money you will need for each semester of school.

If you’re a parent of a college student, this college budget example is the easiest way to teach your college freshman what the cost of each semester of school will be as well as how and where to save money.

Use this budget planner for college students to include all their income and expenses.  The budget planner even has a field for their current checking and savings account, so you’ll know immediately if you have enough money for college.

RELATED:  Moms! Here’s how to prepare your college freshman

Free College Student Budget Example an Excel Spreadsheet

EHprint Download File Here:
College Student Budget (508 downloads)

Click the link above to download the college student budget XLS file as an excel spreadsheet.  You can populate the financial fields as they apply to your college student at the school they are attending.

Don’t worry, the budget planner for college students will automatically add, subtract, and calculate the sub-totals for each section as well as a grand total.  This way you’ll know in minutes if your college student will have enough money for their university semester.

3 Free College Student Budgets

BYU Idaho Centre Square Dorm Room Decorating Ideas_TipJunkie

I created this college student budget for my son who’s attending Brigham Young University Idaho.  Yep, I said Idaho.  I know that’s so freaking far away!  {sniff sniff}

To save you some time editing the budget template, I included a generic example that you can use and quickly populate as needed.  It’s the main tab and the default in the spreadsheet.

College Student Budget Template Excel 3 tabs

How many TABS are in the spreadsheet?  Well, I’m so glad you asked.  {wink}  You will find three tabs in the excel spreadsheet for your college student budget.

This free college budget example includes:

  1. Typical college student budget
  2. College student monthly budget for BYU Idaho
  3. College student food budget

As I mentioned, I created these budgets to teach my own son how to prepare for his freshman year.  You can edit these monthly budgets in any way you’d like. Feel free to add the fields you need and remove what you don’t.

College Student Budget Template for Fall Semester as an Excel Spreadsheet

1. Typical college student budget.

In the first tab, you will find a typical college student budget.  This includes expenses, income, account balances, and totals.  This way you can manage your money and expenditures quickly with this at-a-glance budget.

College Student Budget Templates

I love the format of my budget as I’ve been using it for decades.  However, if it’s not exactly what you’re looking for you can use one of these budget templates.

You can always search {or google} your university as they probably have one of their own tools from their financial aid department.

typical college student budget

I’ve got you started with a money management for college students which includes the following expenses and incomes in the budget template.  Feel free to add and delete the fields as needed.

College Semester Expenses:

  • Tuition, fees, and lab fees
  • Textbooks and supplies
  • School insurance
  • Rent and utilities

Fixed Expenses:

  • Groceries or Meal Plan
  • Cell Phone
  • Car Insurance
  • Gas or Transportation
  • Laundry

Variable Expenses:

  • Medical and prescriptions
  • Living Expenses {toiletries, supplies, etc}
  • Dining out and snacks
  • Dates and Entertainment

Income and Balances:

  • Employment
  • Scholarships and grants
  • Allowance from parents
  • Checking and savings account balances

Calculated Totals:

  • Total Semester Expenses
  • Total Expenses
  • Total Income
  • Grand Total

The grand total is what calculates the entire budget.  This will let you know if you have enough money each month or if adjustments need to be made.

BYU Idaho Centre Square TipJunkie Jason Laurie Dylan
Moving Dylan into BYU Idaho

2. College student monthly budget for BYU Idaho.

Use the second tab of the spreadsheet, if your student happens to be going to Brigham Young University, Idaho.  Make sure they look up my son, Dylan.  {giggle} I included the BYU Idaho budget as a template of how the it calculates the monthly income and expenditures.

Feel free to fiddle with the second tab if you don’t want to start off with the main example.

College Student Budget for BYU Idaho Fall Semester

The second tab for BYU Idaho is almost the same with a few minor tweaks.  Since the semester starts mid-September there are only 4 monthly tabs instead of 5.

I  also populated the information that I used for my son, Dylan.  Your amounts will probably be a little different.  However, it’s a good jumping off place if you’re just starting out your college planning.

The biggest difference is in the college student food budget.  BYU Idaho does not have a meal plan.  They use dining dollars and the freshman dorm, Centre Square comes with a kitchen.

College Student Food Budget example in Excel Spreadsheet

3. College student food budget.

The third tab, is the college student food budget.  If your college has a meal plan then this isn’t necessary.  However, I would still plan dining out and snacks.

As I mentioned earlier, BYU Idaho does not have a meal plan and their freshman dorm has full kitchens.  Therefore, I needed to create Dylan a monthly menu with recipes and a budget.

Freshman Advice

  • Only buy what you will actually eat
  • Walmart Grocery app will calculate totals & allow pickup
  • Plan time in your schedule for you to menu plan
  • Plan time in your schedule to pick up groceries
  • Only cook on days you have the time
  • Schedule time to eat out, especially on busy days

You can download the Easy College Meals for Students with a Kitchen with free printable shopping lists and recipes here.

Now beware… Dylan didn’t want to cook his first semester of college and he’s a very picky eater.  Therefore, the meals are not healthy or well balanced with greens and protein.  {eek!}  They are super easy college meals that you can microwave and make in minutes.

Since Dylan is our first child to send off to college we were preoccupied with many other things and his menu was last.  I’m sure we’ll create a better version his sophomore year when he’s willing to cook.

Free College Planner for Freshman Year from Tip Junkie

How to organize your budgets?

Now you’re probably wondering where to store your budget or how to organize them so your college freshman will actually use it.  I have two suggestions for you:  College Life Planner and Google Drive.  I actually have the budgets in both places.

Google Drive is easy because it’s online and accessible anywhere at anytime.  You can also share it with parents and guardians and any adjustments can be seen by everyone.

I would also suggest you printing a hard copy and adding it to my College Life Planner.  It’s a great way to store all your important documents and everything your child will need for college life.

To create your College Life Planner, print off the free file and then simply add your medical records, insurance information, checklists and college major planning into a three ring binder so you can quickly find it when you need it.

More College Prep For Guys

Since this was my first child I had to prepare for college I went a little overboard.  The great thing about these resources is that they are here if you need them.  So feel free to take what you need and disregard the rest. {wink}

Here’s the complete list of my college prep for guys how-to’s:

There are FREE printables with almost every post.  I wanted to you have what I wished I could have downloaded for free during our college prep.

Laurie Turk the Tip Junkie

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Free College Student Budget Example an Excel Spreadsheet
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