It’s been a while since I’ve done any accounting, so as I’m currently getting my money sorted out for my upcoming postgraduate job, I’ve remembered how stressful budgeting for a full year actually is.

It’s made a little problematic as I won’t be able to get a part time job to support my studies, because technically my studies IS a full time job, and of course I won’t really be able to predict any unexpected costs…

But alas, I will budget as best as I can for the Academic year from September 2015 to September 2016.

This post is about my budgeting process.

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A spreadsheet can help with budgeting. For forumulas, type in “=” then “A1+B2” etc.

I use Google Sheets which comes free with a Google account, and since it’s online, I can access it anywhere with an internet connection as well as export it to different. The alternative is Excel which comes free with an Outlook account, and Open Office which is a free version of Microsoft Office for offline work.

Sheets is of course a Spreadsheet software, hence I can add formulas into the tables and accurately calculate cash flow in and out…

FLOW IN

Personally, my cash flow “in” comprises of student loans, money from work, and birthday money, but it can include money about to be refunded such as a returnable bond used for accommodation.

FLOW OUT

My cash flow “out” is primarily the weekly rent multiplied by the amount of weeks I’m staying, plus the bond and summer retainer. I have also included money for travel as my postgraduate study will require it.

So after the money “out” has been deducted from the money “in”, I then divide that money by how many weeks I am staying at my new accommodation, and I have a weekly amount which I can spend on food and resources.

Of course then comes the task of budgeting for food and resources, and a lot of discipline in choosing the best places to buy certain items and ONLY buying those items.

In addition to all this, there is the case of gaining extra funds, albeit through attempting to find a casual job or getting additional loans, which is, to me, too variable to add to my cash flow and will only get added when those extra funds are confirmed.

To summarise, I have created my own cash flow account to ensure I don’t run out of money during my postgraduate study, and to help me budget effectively. I will also save where I can just in case there are unexpected costs.

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