Saving In and After College

Whether you are in college or have already graduated, in order to save money you need to manage it.

Entertainment and Exercise

  1. Pick up a local newspaper and check upcoming events for freebies: concerts, arts and crafts fairs, theater, festivals, art galleries, and museums.
  2. Do entertaining things that don't cost money: visit friends, hike, ride, skateboard, rollerblade, or read.
  3. Be creative. Watch movies on your computer or make your own movie or music video.

Food, Meals, Grocery Shopping

  1. Buy only what you need. Make a list before you shop and stick to it.
  2. Devise a budget. Stick to your grocery budget by shopping the perimeter where the necessities are.
  3. Eat generic. Brand name food items cost extra due to advertising costs.

Clothing, Accessories, Furniture, and General Purchases

  1. Avoid impulse buys.  Even if it's on sale, do you really need it?
  2. Defer gratification. Credit card debt is rampant in the United States. Why not wait and buy with cash savings?
  3. Garage/yard sales. These offer a different breed of bargain than flea markets.

Credit Cards and Finances

  1. Avoid plastic. Use cards for emergencies only and pay off purchases before they accrue interest.
  2. Avoid the ATM. Fees will eat your savings. Perhaps withdraw a lump sum once a week based on your budget.
  3. Don't bounce checks. Doing so is costly due to bank and store fees. Plus it damages your credit rating.

Books

  1. Borrow if it’s possible. Before putting out money for a textbook, check to see if someone else on   campus has one.
  2. Sell them. Sell books from previous semesters to pay for current course books.
  3. Check online.  Many online retailers have used books for less.

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Montana University System • Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
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