Laura Klamot August 12, 2016 How do I use the Financial Planning Calculator? The financial planning calculator is an exploratory tool that anyone can use, from high school students to family members to prospective and current U of T students. Use it to plan your year and get a idea of what it costs to study at U of T so there are no surprises! Before you begin, you should have a general idea of what you will be studying during the upcoming academic year and what your income and savings will be from all sources. This can include summer job savings, expected job earnings for the upcoming academic year or any financial assistance and awards you have received or expect to receive. To begin, go to the Financial Planning Calculator and click ‘Start Planning’. Provide background information by selecting options that currently apply to you, or if you are exploring your options, simply select which options you think apply to you. You can always change them later to see how your expenses will change. Click ‘Continue’ to proceed to step 2. Estimate your various sources of income to the best of your ability. The more accurate your income estimates are, the more accurate our calculations and financial recommendations will be. If you have no income to enter for a particular field, you may leave it blank. Click ‘Continue’ to proceed to step 3. Based on the background information you provide, we calculate expense estimates for your upcoming academic year. We use educated estimates and calculated averages for many of these values, but feel free to change them to represent your individual situation more accurately. Click ‘Continue’ to proceed to the Summary page. On the Budget Summary page, you will see a graph displaying your income, expenses and a third bar indicating whether you are projected to be in a budget deficit or surplus. Below the graph you will find a list of personalized resources and next steps that you can take to find ways to save money or receive more financial support, depending on your situation. If you have a budget deficit, these resources will give you a few approaches to getting back on track. Want to see what it would cost to switch programs? Live away from home or on campus? Eat out at restaurants a little less and cook more? Use the “Jump to Step” menu to go back and change the information on the form. If you change any of your initial inputs, click ‘Recalculate Budget’ and you will be taken to the Budget Summary page with an updated budget summary and set of resources reflecting your changes.