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Build your budget(s)

 

Now that you've thought about the cost of studying at McGill and living in Montreal, and have gotten a good idea of what percentage of your income should be set aside for each living expense, you're ready to create a budget!

 
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One year budget plan

Start with a one year budget plan. This will help you see exactly where your money is going on a month by month basis, and make any necessary adjustments accordingly.

Instructions

  • Open Tab 2 of the Frugal Scholar Toolkit: Student Budget One Year Plan. 
  • This tab contains two worksheets - one entitled Student Expenses and the other Student Resources.
  • In the first worksheet, input your Education Expenses and your Living Expenses over one, two or three terms for one school year to the best of your knowledge. 
  • In the second worksheet, input your Resources over one, two or three terms for one school year to the best of your knowledge.
  • Read the Instructions under each heading and the Notes for tips on how to fill in each of the categories on this worksheet.

Overall budget plan

You are going to be at McGill for more than one year, so you'll need an overall budget plan too. This plan will show you exactly how much money you'll need to finance your entire degree. Depending on the how long you'll be studying, you can use this worksheet to calculate your Education Expenses, your Living Expenses and your Resources over one, two, three, four or five years.

Instructions

  • Open Tab 3 of the Frugal Scholar Toolkit: Student Budget Overall Plan. 
  • This tab contains two worksheets - one entitled Student Expenses and the other Student Resources.
  • Use the information from your completed One year budget plan to inform the amounts you enter into the Overall Plan. 
  • If you can predict any changes between yearly expenses (i.e. rental increases, tuition increases, etc.), or yearly resources (no longer eligible for funding, etc.), make sure to account for them in the plan.

Staying on track

Once you have a plan, it's important to use it. We know sometimes this is easier said than done. If it's not working, it's okay to make adjustments as needed. Be sure to Cash in on $ tips that will help you live for less.

Still having trouble living within your budget? You may want to revisit the Estimate your Resources page to see if there are any other ways you can bring in extra cash, or make schedule a Budget & Debt Management appointment with one of our Financial Aid Counselors.