You may have a large balance in your account at the beginning of the quarter if you have received financial aid. However, it is because this money is supposed to be budgeted and last the whole quarter. It will go quickly if you don’t properly manage the funds.
If you have a budget, you will be better prepared. But you have to follow through or you will not have sufficient funds to cove the cost of your education. Use the following forms to record your sources of income verses your expenses, which will enable you to see how much you can spend each month.
Your goal is to receive a degree from Calvin Theological Seminary. Because an education is expensive, you will have to focus on this goal throughout your time here. Paying bills on time and staying out of unnecessary debt is the key to having a good credit rating and starting off on the right foot after seminary. Calvin Seminary offers many resources for you to use regarding for college. Be sure to use all of these resources if you need them.
Credit Card Debt
A major problem for students is credit card debt. To prevent this problem, you must acknowledge how easy it is to go into debt. Not paying your college bills or not paying back your loans can become a serious problem and could ruin your credit rating for a long time.
Having a credit card is a big responsibility and you should have an income to support it. You should not accept every card offered to you. Be sure you are in control of your spending and have a budget worked out ahead of time so the credit card spending does not get out of hand. Only use credit cards in case of emergency and pay it off as soon as the bill arrives.
Follow these suggestions to keep track of your expenses:
- Fill out the Personal Expenses Sheet.
- Use past receipts and your checkbook register to estimate the amount needed to cover expenses.
- Keep track of your actual spending each day for one month.
At the end of the month, add your expenses form the Personal Expense Sheet and put the totals on your Monthly Budget Worksheet in the actual column. Subtract the actual column from the budget column and analyze the results by answering these questions:
- Did you stick to your budget or did you over-spend or under-spend?
- In areas where you over-spent, why did you?
- Is there any way that you can cut back on spending?
- Did you checkbook balance show that you spent a lot more money during the month than you accounted for on your Personal Expense Sheet? Try to pay more attention to your impulse purchases. They may be the cause of the discrepancy.
- If you spend beyond your budget and cannot cut back, you will need to look for additional sources of income such as a part-time job or loans for which you may be eligible.
If you need additional help in this area, please make an appointment with the financial aid office.