As a student, August always seems to surprise me! Preparing for the new school year can be both daunting and exciting, especially for university students as we see our tuition costs climbing. Here are some of the things I do to prepare which makes the school year run more smoothly!
Sit Down with a Spending Plan
One of the best things I did before heading off to university was sit down with my Dad and set out my expenses for the year. There are dozens of free apps which make a spending plan fun and simple, but we settled on a simple excel spreadsheet which More Than Enough uses for all of their clients.
Whatever your preference as far as tools go, there are a few things which I would encourage you to consider in your spending plan.
Map out your monthly expenses.
What are your fixed expenses for each month? Input these into your spreadsheet, or write them down. Then allot yourself enough income to cover these expenses every month. Know how much living will cost, before you start the year.
Set your income.
How do you plan on paying for your life while you are in school? Will you be working or simply using the money saved from the summer? Map out when income will be coming in and when expenses will be going out as much as possible for you start and you will dramatically reduce your stress level!
Keep it simple
Buy a Day Planner
The best thing I did last year was purchase a day planner. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it can be as simple as a google calendar on your phone.
Just make sure it is something simple which you will use throughout the year. We always start with good intentions, but honestly getting into the habit of planning out my tasks and priorities kept my grades high and my mind sane.
Prioritize Your Year
This is something I wish I had been more intentional about last year, and I intend to sit down before I start school to really prioritize where I will be spending my time, money and resources.
University classes leave plenty of time to socialize, work or volunteer outside of school. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is still too much. Many of us get overexcited and overload our schedules at the start of the year with the plethora of opportunities which confront us.
So take a step back before you are faced with the myriad of clubs, social outings and volunteer opportunities which will increase your stress level and diminish your quality of life. Decide what is important to you now.
Decide now to be jealous with your time and energy during this busy season. Don’t forget the value of planning your expenses in advance. There are so many amazing opportunities which will come knocking at your door, it is important to know where your priorities so you can make the most of this year.