I Calculated My Budget and I Still Don’t Have Any Money!

Calculating your personal budget is not all you need to do to budget your student finances. You also have to stick to it. If your expenses are roughly the same as what you listed in your calculations then there are only two possibilities as to why you do not have enough money. 

1.  Your income is lower than you listed it to be in your budget calculator 

You may have made a mistake regarding your income. You could have entered the numbers incorrectly into the budget calculator or spreadsheet. It may also be possible that you overestimated how much income you are receiving each week.


  • Look at bank statements and work out how much on average you receive in income each week
  • After this, enter the new details in to your budget
  • With the new figures your surplus or shortfall should be more accurate

2.    You are spending more than you realise

Most of the time when you enter financial details into a budget calculator some of the figures will be guesstimates. Paid subscriptions such as a gym or a mobile phone contract will be set at a weekly or monthly price. This means the exact figure can be entered. Other expenses such as lunch out can vary week to week.

It is quite likely that you underestimated your expense on such things and this is why your calculations of your budget are inaccurate.


  • Tracking all of your expenses in a week is a good way to have a clear idea on where your money is going
  • Behave normally and do not withhold from purchases simply because you are tracking your expenses
  • Keep all of your receipts for the day and then type up or write down what you purchased and how much it cost. Try to separate them into categories like food, entertainment and transport
  • Alternatively you can use the TrackMySpend app from MoneySmart. This mobile application allows you to track your purchases on the go
  • After the week is over you can go back over your finances and alter elements of your budget which may not truly reflect your weekly expenses
  • With the new figures your surplus or shortfall should be more accurate

If you are spending considerably more on your expenses than your income it is a good idea to look over your budget and decide what areas you can cut back on, you can download a free budgeting tool from Student-finance.com.au. Perhaps swap a night out for a night in or expensive takeaway food for a homemade meal with friends.

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About the Author: Amy