Enrolling in a career training program can set you on the path to improving your job prospects and your income, but it may also come with an initial financial investment — in fact, you might even have to leave your current job and source of income in order to attend the program. That means it may be time to put together a new budget. If your course has you thinking about how to spend your money, we’ve got some helpful tips below for creating (and sticking to) a budget when taking a career training program!
Determine how much money you'll have each month/how much money you'll have to spend
First off, you want to figure out how much money you’ll have available each month, as well as what expenses (like rent, utilities, and groceries) you’ll have. Your money could come from an income, a loan, or your savings — but if it comes from a lump sum, such as a loan or savings, be sure to take into account that you’ll need it to last for at least the duration of your program.
Use an app to keep yourself on track
Keeping track of your spending is an important aspect of maintaining a budget. Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there to help you. With both free and paid options available, you can find the app that best fits your lifestyle and needs. Check out our post on popular budgeting tools to see just some of the options available!
If possible, pay off student loans during deferment
You may have taken out a loan to pay for your program, and depending on which loan you borrowed, you may not be required to make payments until after your program is finished. However, interest starts accumulating as soon as a loan is disbursed — so if you don’t make any payments at all, the amount you owe will pile up. Starting to make payments early will help keep your total payments down.
Find free or cheap events
Make dinner at home and bring lunch to work/class
This is one that’s been said over and over again, but it’s true: making meals or brewing coffee at home could save you lots, as opposed to eating out or buying a latte every day.
Don't be too hard on yourself
And lastly, don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t do all these things all the time. You’ll be busy learning new career skills, and there’s no need to add more stress by feeling bad about that restaurant dinner or concert ticket. You’re still allowed to enjoy things, even if you’re on a budget!