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."
You can budget the old-fashioned way, with a ledger book and pen-and-ink entries, but this method is often abandoned when time is short. There are free templates available for software programs (such as Microsoft Excel for Windows and Mac), but these also require manual data entry.
There are many tools (including free, online tools) that allow you to budget and keep track of your income and expenses with relative ease.
2014 American Veterinary Medical Association