Figuring out how much you can realistically afford for rent can be tricky. This budget worksheet will
give you a quick look at how much you can truly afford. When you’re done with the worksheet, read on for
some smart ways to keep your expenses down.
Take Home Pay From Work $ __________
Savings (If you’re using savings,
divide the total available by the
# of months you want your savings
to cover)
$ __________
Financial Aid (divide the total
available by the # of month’s you
want your nancial aid to cover)
$ _________
Help From Parents/Family $_________
Other Income $ _________
Total Monthly Income $ _________
Cell/Phone/Internet/Cable TV $__________
Groceries $__________
Laundry $__________
Personal Care (Hair/Toiletries) $__________
Membership Dues/Subscriptions $__________
Car Payments $__________
Gas/Oil Changes/Routine
Maintenance/ Fees $__________
Car Insurance $__________
Parking Fees $__________
Fees and Tickets $__________
Tuition and Fees $ __________
School Books/Lab Fees/Supplies $ __________
Concerts/Sporting Events $ __________
Dining Out/Fast Food $ __________
Music/Games/Rec. Equipment $ __________
Pet Food/Vet Bills/
Pet Sitter/Pet Supplies $ __________
Health Insurance $ __________
Medication/Prescriptions $ __________
Dental Care $ __________
Other: _______________________ $ __________
Other: _______________________ $ __________
Unexpected Expenses $ __________
Savings/Monthly Cushion $ __________
Total Monthly Expenses $ __________
smarter RENTER
Budgeting for Rent Worksheet
This worksheet was prepared by Steve Brown Apartments. If you have any questions about the
materials presented in this guide, please email us at or visit us online.
We also invite you to peruse our apartment listings at
Find out more tips for being a Smarter Renter at
©2012 SBA Management Services. All rights reserved.
Amount Available for Rent and Utilities
TOTAL: Income $ ________ - Expenses $ ________ = Amount Available for Rent $ ________
Budgeting (and Saving) 101
It’s easy to get caught up in the college experience until you suddenly find you’ve run out of money. Use these
basic techniques to avoid overspending.
1. Figure Out Where Your Money Is Going – This may be tricky, but it will clue you in to what’s making
your balance low. Save receipts for everything you buy for a month, or use your financial institution’s
online banking feature to add up your expenses verses your income. You’ll discover what’s depleting
your money and what you can avoid. Often it’s the little things that add up that you often don’t even
think about.
2. Start Small & Be Realistic – Budgeting can be a daunting task, so don’t set yourself up for failure. If
you know you have a problem expenditure, instead of eliminating it altogether, simply cut back slowly.
For example, if you’re a coffee shop fanatic and make daily visits, instead of not going altogether, start
going three to four times a week and gradually cut back over the course of a few months.
3. Seek Alternatives – In the coffee shop example, you can also start brewing your coffee at home. Or if
soda is your beverage of choice, instead of buying it from the vending machine, buy a twelve-pack at the
supermarket. Find alternative ways to buy the things you want.
4. Budget for Fun – Don’t be too strict on yourself by only spending money on essentials. You will likely
feel deprived and fail. Remember to set money aside for movies, music or whatever else you enjoy
spending money on.
5. Start Saving – It’s hard to do, but if you can start saving a little each month, you can build an
emergency fund. This can be relied on when the unexpected happens, like car repair. Or you can use it
for future purchases like a spring break trip. Here are some ways to cut back on your expenses.
• Take advantage of student discounts. This works great for electronics, books, events and more.
• Buy used textbooks instead of new. Or, participate in a campus textbook swap.
• Know your mobile or cell phone plan. Avoid overages by being texted when your minutes are close
to being used up.
• Eat out for lunch instead of dinner (lunch menus are typically cheaper). Better yet, shop at the
grocery store and bring your own food for lunch on campus.
• Invest in a reusable water bottle and refill it. If you don’t buy a $2 bottle of water every weekday all
month, you’ll save over $40 each month. That’s almost $500 saved each year!
• Walk, bike or ride the bus instead of owning a car on campus. You’ll save money on gas, car
insurance, parking costs and more.
• Seek out discounts on items you buy regularly. Use sites like for online purchases
or use for things like computer toner.
• Avoid disposables when possible. Instead of eating on paper plates with plastic utensils, buy
inexpensive plastic dinnerware at the store that you wash and reuse. Or, borrow items from your
parents. It will save money and help the environment, too.
It’s almost always less expensive to live with
roommates than on your own. The more the
merrier – and the cheaper!