Budgeting and Goal Setting

What is a budget? Do I need one?

At the most basic level, a budget is a way to keep track of the money you are getting and the money you are spending. A budget is a great way to make sure that you can cover your expenses from month to month.  

If you have a set income that you use to cover your expenses, chances are, making a budget is the right choice for you. 

How to create a budget

Before you set up your budget, you are going to want to figure out your goals. Are you trying to save money? Are you trying to invest? Are you trying to leave as much money as possible for general spending, or do you need to reserve it for standard expenses such as rent and groceries? Having a goal in mind for your budget is important when you decide how much money to set aside and how much to spend.

It is also important to know exactly where your money comes from, and know how much you are bringing in. If you have multiple sources of income, it might be helpful to make a list so you know how much money you are making each month. 

A great way to set up a budget is by calculating how much money comes in each month vs how much needs to come out (and make sure you add a little something for fun too!). Some common examples of necessary expenses are:

  • Rent
  • Groceries
  • Utility bills
  • Household and personal supplies
  • Transportation costs
  • Gas (if applicable)

Common budgeting tools recommend saving about 20 percent of your income each month, which can be used for emergencies or can be kept in a savings account to grow. 

After you have subtracted all necessary expenses from your income, you will be left with the excess money that you can spend or save. Common budgeting tools recommend saving about 20 percent of your income each month, which can be used for emergencies or can be kept in a savings account to grow. The rest of the money left over can be used for whatever you want! That way, you can enjoy an extra fun night out with friends or a shopping spree, and know that your necessary expenses are taken care of.

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Budgeting Resources

Topics: Budgeting; Financial Aid; Grants, Fellowships, and Awards; Saving; Spending | Featured Resource

The Start-Up Grant, also known as Supplemental Allowance, is an additional scholarship in an amount of $2,000 that may be used to help cover costs for associated with starting at Yale College. Examples of such costs are winter clothing, dorm necessities and course supplies. All enrolled Yale College students with ‘zero parent share’ contribution are eligible.

Topics: Budgeting; Saving; Spending | Featured Resource

Mint brings together everything from balances and bills to your credit score and more. It’s your financial life, in one place that’s easy to understand. It’s free and easy to get started, and we connect to almost every US financial institution connected to the internet. In just minutes, you’ll see where your money is going and get ideas on how to stretch it farther.

Topics: Budgeting; Spending | Featured Resource

As you prepare for grad school, you may need to take standardized admission exams. If you are eligible, you may apply for a graduate exam fee waiver for the MCAT.

Topics: Budgeting; Earning; Loans; Saving; Spending; Taxes | Featured Resource

LIT is a financial education program that teaches students how to manage their money while in school and prepare for financial life after graduation. Over the course of ~80 videos, LIT guides students through seven major personal finance topics: Money Mindset, Cash Flow & Net Worth, Credit & Loans, Taxes, Insurance, Investing, and Retirement.

Topics: Budgeting; Spending | Featured Resource

As you prepare for grad school, you may need to take standardized admission exams. If you are eligible, you may apply for a graduate exam fee waiver for the LSAT.

Topics: Budgeting; Employment; Saving | Featured Resource

In an effort to support students pursuing careers in the nonprofit, government and the arts sectors, OCS offers a travel reimbursement program to help offset costs associated with travel for interviews and/or auditions of Yale College seniors. Each senior is allowed to submit travel reimbursement requests for a total maximum reimbursement of $200 per student.

Topics: Budgeting; Spending | Featured Resource

As you prepare for grad school, you may need to take standardized admission exams. If you are eligible, you may apply for a graduate exam fee waiver for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Topics: Budgeting; Financial Aid; Saving; Spending | Featured Resource

Managing finances to optimize your college experience is a challenge in itself, but the costs can often place a larger burden on low-income students. In order to support students through these challenges, we have centralized information in our Financial Guidance page as a first-go-to resource for any questions regarding finances for low-income students.

Topics: Budgeting

The sheet was created with three goals in mind: that it be easy to use; that it focuses on a daily budget that supports long term goals, instead of a long term budget that doesn't have daily support; that it be a good starting place for people who have never saved before.

Topics: Budgeting; Earning; Emergencies; Employment; Financial Aid; Grants, Fellowships, and Awards; Investing; Loans; Saving; Spending; Student Loans; Taxes

Looking to get some money for summer travel? Cant figure out how to fill out that annoying financial doc? Or just looking for some pro tips on financial wellness? We got you. This page is full of amazing resources, curated and written by folks who's primary interest is your financial well being. Click on any of the campus resources below to learn more

Topics: Budgeting; Saving; Spending

Are you looking for a quick way to keep track of your monthly spending? Budgeting is important, and this calculator makes it easier to keep track of your expenses and allows you to set monthly saving goals.

Topics: Budgeting; Spending

As you prepare for grad school, you may need to take standardized admission exams. If you are eligible, you may apply for a graduate exam fee waiver for the GMAT exam.