Budget. Not the most exciting word, but it is key to reducing financial stress.

  1. Figure out how much money you have coming in: your earnings from a job, allowances, grants/loans/scholarships, etc.
  2. Track your spending for 2-4 weeks to find out exactly where your money is going.
  3. Crunch the numbers: total income – total expenses = balance. If your expenses are greater than your income, a good budget can help get you back on track.
  4. Map out your budget, examine, and review. How can you add to your resources (get a job, etc.)? What expenses can be eliminated or reduced (little daily things, like a latte, that can add up)?
  5. Stick to it! Your discipline can pay off by having less stress and worry about your finances.

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”

Dave Ramsey

Be Smart With Credit Cards

Credit cards are an easy way for spending to get out of control. Remember that they’re not free money–they’re high-interest loans.

If credit cards are a problem for you, you can…

  • Consider a debit card instead so that you only spend money that you really have.
  • Use credit cards sparingly.
  • Ask for your credit limit (potential debt) to be lowered. Companies will try to boost up your credit line so you spend more. Tell them “no” each time.
  • Avoid applying for a credit card just to get a free gift.
  • Research before choosing a card.
  • Pay your bills on time. Try to avoid carrying a balance.


The UGA Health Center (UHC) wants to support you in succeeding and enjoying your experience at UGA. Experts at UHC offer knowledge and programs concerning stress management and college life.

Written by: UHC CAPS and Communications