Financial Fitness > Build a Budget > Creating a Money Plan

Creating a Money Plan

Now that you know what kind of life you want, it's time to start building it! Just like a house needs a building plan, you need a money plan. Take control! A budget can empower you. A simple budget means the difference between throwing money out the window, or using it as the foundation for your future. Ready to live the life you desire? A money plan has three simple segments:

  1. Track your expenses
  2. Save for priorities
  3. Repay debt

It's all possible… when you have a plan! Get started now:

Day-to-Day Expenses

Today's spending can help your future — or hurt it.
Most students spend money every single day. But how you spend determines your future financial freedom. Having a set budget for day-to-day expenses will keep your spending in check, instead of out-of-whack.

Use these sample budgets to create your own:

Get what you need while spending less.
Part of having a plan for your money includes knowing ways to get what you want for a cheaper price. There are a number of online sites to help you get the most for your money.

Saving for Priorities

A dollar saved every day goes a long way.
With a savings plan, your priorities become attainable with very little inconvenience. One successful savings strategy is to use a S.M.A.R.T. action plan. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Specific (Goal) Measurable Time Realistic (Monthly Cost) Attainable (Action Plan)
Buy a new winter coat (short term) $200 4 months $50/month ($12.50/week) Cut back Starbucks lattes to twice a week
Study Abroad (intermediate) $3,000 2 years $125/month ($32/week) Cut back weekend restaurant spending to once per week
Down payment on condo (long term) $10,000 4 years $209/month ($53/week) Automatically transfer to money market account
Be a millionaire when I retire (long term) $1,000,000 43 years $200 Enroll in company 403b/Meet with planner

Small adjustments can lead to big things!
Let's say you want to study abroad, but are worried about how to pay for it. Cutting back on lattes and take-out can turn into life-changing experiences. Watch what happens if you save just a little each day or week. Five dollars a day is $25 a week and $1,300 a year! If you doubled it, you'd pocket over $2,500.

Debt Repayment

You can repay debt efficiently. Here's how…
You may have both credit card debt and student loans. To be as efficient in your debt repayment as possible, it is wise to learn the best strategies for repaying each type of loan.

Additional Resources