.... before they manage you
Being able to manage your finances is an important skill which will serve you well, not just during seminary but also in life after graduation.
The best way to help you manage your finances is to think about what really matters to you, set some financial goals and develop a budget. A budget is a tool to help you meet your financial goals. It functions as a ruler to gauge your spending patterns against budgeted amounts, so that adjustments can be made.
Before a budget can be made, you will need to take stock of your current income and your expenses. Below are a number of websites that can provide helpful guidance on financial literacy and suggestions on how to set up a budget:
Things to consider when Developing a budget (from You Can Deal With It*)
Setting up a budget (using percentages)
* Note:You will need to add a category to your budget to account for tithing.
Westminster's Budget Tracker
This Excel spreadsheet budget tool was created to track monthly income and expenses. The monthly totals entered into each category may be compared month to month and with your budget.
After entering your spending for the month on page one of the spreadsheet, see page two where monthly spending for each category is expressed as a percentage of monthly income. These percentages may be compared to those reccommended, to help you determine if your budget needs to be adjusted. (The "Budget Gazelle Tool" above is one example of reccomended budget category percentages). Contact WTS Financial Aid office (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions/comments.
Biblically-Oriented Financial Planning Websites:
Whichever method you use to keep track of your spending habits is not important. What is important is that you are monitoring your finances, so that you can provide for yourself, meet your obligations, and share with others.
If you are considering taking out a loan to fund your education, please see How Much of a Loan can I Afford and the very informative video and financial information contained on Auburn Seminary's website.