Georgia Student Finance Commission


Spending Plan - Expenses

College Money Matters

Spending Plan - Expenses

Expenses are how money is spent. Examples include cell phone bill, gas for your car, tuition, dining out, student loan repayment, and many others. A spending plan will help manage how much money is spent on expenses. You don’t want to spend too much money on what you want and not have enough for what you need.

There are different types of expenses. Understanding the different types will help you incorporate the expense in your spending plan correctly.

Spending Plan - ExpensesFixed expenses - This is the first kind. Fixed expenses occur regularly and don’t change from month to month. These include rent, student loan repayment and car payments. Don’t forget about adding to your savings.

Making savings a fixed expense every month will help build a fund to use in case an emergency arises. Which means if you have one, you are less likely to borrow money to deal with it. It is simply added to your spending plan.

Flexible expenses - The second kind of expense is called a flexible expense. Like fixed expenses, these occur regularly. However, the amount will change.

Examples include groceries, eating out, entertainment and gas. These expenses are more difficult in developing a spending plan because you have to predict how much you think you will spend during the month. A good place to start is looking at past months to see how much you spent and adjust. Expenses related to your needs such as food, shelter, and school will be a priority. The amount of money for other expenses such as entertainment or clothes shopping should be calculated after all your needs have been met. 

It is critical to track these types of expenses as money is spent so you don’t overspend by the end of the month.

Irregular expenses - Costs which occur on an irregular basis, rather than monthly. Examples of periodic or irregular expenses may include tuition, purchasing books quarterly, insurance premiums, school taxes or automobile maintenance costs.