My money is going out faster than it is coming in



Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head

Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, Family Resource Management Field Specialist, SDSU Extension

If you are finding that you don’t have enough money to pay for your expenses, it might be time

to track your spending and create a budget/spending plan. This will help you allocate your

income for your expenses and feel more in control of your finances.


Depending on your situation, your income may not vary. The amount you earn or have available for spending each month may be inconsistent. If your income changes each month, planning is important. Save money from each paycheck to cover the months when your income may be lower. By expecting there will be a change, you will be prepared to adjust your spending to cover expenses.


College students may not have many fixed expenses, expenses due at the same time every month. Flexible expenses, expenses that vary in amount from month to month, could create stress and anxiety about finances. The amount you spend each month for groceries, gas and other needs can be variable but you still need to make those purchases. An unexpected situation, like a car repair or the need to fix your laptop, can mess up any well-planned budget.

An emergency savings account will help deal with the unexpected. Having at least $500 in a savings account specifically for emergencies and unexpected expenses will usually cover the situation. If you do not have $500 to deposit in the account, start by saving what you can. $10 to $20 is better than nothing. If you receive an unexpected income, tax refund or gift, add that to the account.

Learn more tips about budgeting by viewing College Budgeting on YouTube. For more information about managing your finances go to the SDSU Extension website.