With a clearer picture of the costs that you may incur, build a budget that balances your total expenses against the amount of cash you have available to you each month.
A job or paid internship provides recurring cash with the freedom to use on whatever you want.
Parents or loans may subsidize costs during school, by either giving you money to manage or paying costs directly.
If you're in school or in a career transition, you might rely on savings paid out to yourself each month.
Working part-time or in a Gig economy job can cause your paycheck to vary in size, so use a short-term savings account as buffer.
A quarterly stipend from your parents or bi-weekly paycheck requires a savings fund to absorb cash shortfalls and capture surplus.
Money from subsidies could have strings attached, meaning that you may need a job or savings to cover discretionary spending.
50% of your budget should go toward housing bills, meals, commuting, health insurance and your cell phone plan.
Up to 30% of your budget can go to "wants," but it's always best to ensure you've first accounted for costs of living.
Avoid a "see what's left" approach by deliberately contributing to savings or debt payments with 20% of your budget.
For known, infrequent expenses, such as new clothes, use a rollover bucket to have unused funds "roll" into the next month.
If your infrequent expenses vary so much in nature, it's easiest to just allot part of your discretionary bucket to "infrequent stuff."
For one-time expenses, like tuition, it's helpful to have a totally separate fund that can also absorb shocks, like a tax payment.