Budgeting Resources

Budgeting resources to help you organize your finances and achieve your goals.

About Budgeting

A budget is your own personal money plan. Acting as a guide, your budget allows you to see where your money comes from and helps you determine how it should be spent. Tracking your spending and keeping your expenses lower than your income will allow you to grow your savings and avoid unnecessary debt.

Watch

Quick tips

  • Save money first — We all have long-term financial goals, whether they're to purchase a car or save for a graduation trip. By setting money aside for savings first, you prioritize your future financial self.
  • Build an emergency fund — Emergencies happen to everyone and it’s important to be prepared. Even a few dollars a month can help you prepare for unexpected expenses.
  • Remember your periodic expenses — Periodic expenses are predictable, but irregular. These expenses include things like annual car registration, holiday gift purchases and textbooks. You can prepare for these expenses by planning ahead and saving a small amount each month.
  • Be realistic — Your budget should align with your goals, but it should not be so strict that it’s impractical. After you’ve set money aside for savings and expenses, leave space for activities and hobbies you love.
  • Review and adjust regularly — Sit down regularly to review your budget and make adjustments as needed.

Practice

Base your budget around a month or a semester, whichever is easiest for you. To help you build your first budget, we’ve provided a handy worksheet and two downloadable templates. You can complete them online or print them out and do them by hand. 

If you prefer something more interactive, you may want to use a free budgeting app.

For individuals

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For couples

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Want help learning how to budget?

Our financial coaches can help you create a budget tailored to your specific circumstances. Set up a coaching appointment today!

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These recommendations are being provided for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The University of Missouri-Kansas City bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the resources listed.