Posts Tagged 'College Life'

Post-College 101: Saving Money on the Necessities

One thing that we, recent college graduates, need to learn…and learn fairly quickly is how to save money.  Whether we are out in our own place, back at home with the family, or sharing a space with a roommate, it will be a struggle to save money while living the life we feel we deserve after college.

Here are some tips to help you figure out where to save a few dollars here and there.  What’s great about these tips is that they are not special tips only applicable to recent college graduates.  These tips can apply to anyone.

Money saving tips:

1. Quantity Sales – Often times, a grocery or clothing store will have a sale that reads something like “4 for $12″…where they make it seem like you only get a discount if you buy a certain Check to see if you have to buy the quantity to get the discount.

2. Thrift Stores/Consignment Shops – A good thrift store should be a part of your shopping rounds.  Gifts, clothing, accessories, jewelry and often times just a plain old good time is available at a lot of thrift stores.  If you do some research in for your local area, there may be some stores that carry fairly current things.  Thrift stores are no longer only limited to things from the 1950’s.

3. Go to the clearance section 1st. – There’s a reason clearance sections are usually in the back. They hope that you’ll have your hands full with the expensive stuff before you make it back to the clearance section.  When my sister and I go shopping, we make a habit of going straight to the clearance section.  Clearance sections are great because sometimes it gets you to try new colors and styles that you wouldn’t have thought about.  Yes you won’t have the latest trends, but guaranteed, the fact that you’ll walk out of a store with a full bag of clearance things, instead of a small bag with one shirt, will make you feel like a diva fashionista anyway!

4. Spread major expenditures over a long period of time. – I know that we’re excited about getting furniture for our new place or feel like we need a new professional wardrobe for our jobs, but major spending should be spread out over a period of time.  The way I do it is assign each check to 1 major expenditure. (This works best with salaried jobs)  I know this kinda breaks the ‘don’t spend money that you don’t have’ rule, but the thought process of planning, allocating and budgeting outweights following that rule as long as you want to have the money to pay with, and not put it on credit.

5. The dollar store – The dollar store can be a great way to save on things that you need.  It’s true that the quality of some of these things may be a little lacking, but there are some things that can be bought at the dollar store without for-going quality. Things such as cleaning supplies and snacks can be purchased at the dollar store, and they’ll work just as well as the ones you would pay more money for.  The best way to figure out what can and can’t be purchased at the dollar store is to go to the dollar store on a day where you would just want to look, no spending.  Then, on shopping days, go to the typical stores, but then make a note of what you saw at the dollar store.  After you hit up the usual spots, go back to the dollar store and buy your remaining items.

Do you have any other tips?  I would love to hear them!


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