A lot of things change when you start college. You have more freedom and more fun, of course, but with those come more responsibilities—especially when it comes to managing your finances.
Budgeting dilemmas are nothing new. Nearly everyone’s guilty of overspending or losing sight of their financial priorities one too many times. You may not have a 401(k) or a mortgage to think about yet, but you probably have bills to pay and maybe a student loan to keep track of.
Budgeting is easier when you know specifically where your money has gone and where the rest of it should go. While different people have their own style of budgeting, using a budgeting template will help you allocate your funds better and even help you set money goals for yourself.
Here are our top choices of free and low-cost Excel student budget spreadsheets available online.
Related: Budgeting Basics for College Students, Plus Example Spreadsheet
College Budget Template
A good student budget looks at various sources of income and expenses. It should project not only your budget for the month but for the semester or the entire year.
The College Budget Template from vertex42 is an excellent tool to start your budgeting journey. It contains almost every expense category a college student needs. It’s also customizable, so you can easily add in personal expenses that aren’t included in the template.
This Excel spreadsheet lets you plan your budget for the semester so you can have a realistic idea of what your financial goals and responsibilities should be.
Related: How to Make a Budget in College
Money Management Template 2.0
Having a budget plan is only half the battle—the other half is sticking to it. After planning a semester’s budget, track your actual expenses and discretionary expenditures with the Money Management Template 2.0, also from vertex42.
An improved version of the original, the Money Management Template 2.0 is easy to use and efficient in helping you track your money. If you’re looking for a basic, macro-free money manager that’s packed with functionalities, this is it!
Household Expense Budget
When you have a roommate or you’re sharing an apartment with a few people, budgeting can be trickier because you have to divide household expenses among yourselves. It’s a good thing then that the Household Expense Budget template from Microsoft exists.
This spreadsheet helps you track your household’s budget and assigns each member their portion of each month’s rent, utility bills, and other expenses. It makes budgeting for a group a whole lot easier!
Related: The Pros and Cons of Living With Roommates vs. Living Alone
Debt Tracker Spreadsheet
If you have student loans, installment loans, a credit card, or any other type of debt, this Debt Tracker Spreadsheet from It’s Your Money might come in handy. This template has tabs for basically everything you owe and even sorts them out by balance and interest. It can also calculate your credit card utilization percentage for you.
The Debt Tracker lays out all your debts in a systematic and organized way so you’re always updated on your balance and upcoming due dates.
Related: College Loans: Why You Should Look Before You Leap
Using budget spreadsheets
The access to budgeting templates has made managing finances a lot easier for everyone. These tools aren’t only useful in setting a budget or tracking your daily expenses; they also help you achieve your financial goals.
There are so many different versions of the spreadsheets above that you can download online. Feel free to browse and look for the variety that work best for you.
Learn more about your college finances in our Financial Aid section.