Establishing good financial habits at a young age helps you throughout your entire life and can make a significant difference in your long-term financial health and stability. Make a reasonable budget and stick to it – you'll be glad you did.
Creating a personal/household budget serves several purposes:
Budgeting obviously isn't a "fun" task for many, especially because it often raises challenging questions that may be uncomfortable for you to answer for yourself. Paying close attention to discretionary (non-necessary) expenses – those other than tuition, books, basic shelter and food costs, and bills – and keeping them in check may not seem like much fun to you, but keeping those expenses to a reasonable minimum will pay off in the long term. Although it's not necessarily welcome news for many students, a critical method for minimizing your debt is to "Live like a student while you are in school, so you don't have to live like a student after you graduate."
There are many tools (including free, online tools) that allow you to budget and keep track of your income and expenses with relative ease.
Personal Financial Planning Tool - Track, Plan, Overcome, Succeed! Reach your financial goals with the new, easy-to-use AVMA Personal Financial Planning Tool. Track your expenses, plan for your future and succeed! This member-only tool allows users to build a personalized estimate of their budget needs so they can plan how to pay off debt and student loans in an acceptable time frame, while also saving for the future. AVMA's Personal Financial Planning Tool is specifically for veterinarians, with their unique budget concerns in mind. Try it out for FREE and start your budget now at avma.org/mybudget.
Other resources include:
2015 American Veterinary Medical Association