Budgeting in Grad School

By: Sarah Chelli – Global Health

When I first moved to Atlanta, I was super nervous about budgeting because it was my first time living on my own and paying for rent, groceries, utilities, etc. Since living in Atlanta for over a year now, it’s been really important for me to stick to my budget so I can have extra money on the side. 

Whenever I get my paycheck, I calculate how much of it goes towards my rent, groceries, and utilities. My best piece of advice is to write all of your monthly expenses out. For example, per month I pay about $900 for rent, $150 for groceries, and $100 for utilities. After subtracting this from my paycheck, I budget how much I will spend with the remaining money. I love to go out around Atlanta especially for brunch and shopping. Using the remaining money, I calculate how much I can spend on my “extras” (brunch, going out, shopping). This helps me stay within my budget and make sure I don’t go out too often. 

Any other extra money that I’m able to save per paycheck goes into my savings account. I use my savings account so that I can put away money and make sure I don’t touch it unless for emergencies. I also use my savings account to help save money so I can start (slowly) paying off my loans. Saving a little towards my savings account goes a long way. 

Budgeting is hard to do and does require a bit of will power, but it is definitely worth it when you’re able to pay off your bills and have extra to spend. My advice: make a budget and stick with it!