Saving 101: Money Saving Strategies
Students may choose to lower miscellaneous expenses by using any combination of the following money-saving strategies:
- Reduce the cost of utilities.
a. Disconnect your cable TV service.
b. Turn off the lights when not in use.
- Stop spending for things you don’t really need.
- Stop paying for purchases with your credit card.
- Put all your loose change in a jar. Keep it for laundry, or save it for unexpected expenses.
- Reduce your food expenditures:
- Buy in bulk.
- Don’t shop more than once a week.
- Buy only what you have on your list, no impulse purchases.
- Compare prices.
- Don’t buy what you can’t use.
- Eat our less frequently and less expensively.
- Treat eating out as a luxury.
- Eat less expensive foods.
- Use restaurant coupons.
- Take advantage of early-bird specials.
- Eat when you’re hungry, not when you’re upset.
- Order entrees only, not expensive desserts or appetizers.
- Split or share meals with a friend.
- Pack your lunch and take it with you to school.
- Learn to cook for yourself.
- Find an alternative to driving your car. Rely on public
transportation, friends, bikes, and your feet.
If you MUST have a car, try the following tips:
- Wash your car yourself.
- Purchase regular, unleaded gas.
- Look for coupons for oil changes.
- To avoid long-term expenses, keep your car in shape.
- Use cash or debit cards to pay for gas.
- Carpool with friends.
- Find free or inexpensive ways to entertain yourself:
- Matinee, discount movies.
- Local museums and parks.
- Ask about student discounts.
- Participate in sports.
- Join school clubs.
- Read a book.
- Hike a trail.
- Rent videos.
- Buy season passes/book of tickets for activities you engage in frequently.
- Take care of yourself, but look for deals.
- Avoid membership in trendy health clubs – use the schools’ health club or the YMCA.
- Rely on coupons or specials for hairdressers/barbers.
- Don’t waste money on expensive cosmetics sold at department stores.
- Look for free-sample cosmetics, or purchase them at discount stores.
- Give yourself a manicure/pedicure instead of paying someone else to do it; have a manicure/pedicure party with your friends.
- Shop around; look for sales/specials.
- Shop around for special long-distance rates that meet your individual needs.
- Stay away from the shopping mall and out of the stores (particularly when you’re upset or depressed).
- Avoid or reduce expensive luxury habits.
- Buy products, clothes and food that you really need.
- Check out the costs of banking and negotiate what works best for you (e.g. avoid ATM fees, checking fees, designer checks, etc.)
- Don’t be influenced to spend by friends who have more money than you.
- Shop for clothes wisely.
- Shop at discount outlet stores, consignment stores, and campus thrift shops.
- Look for generic labels; avoid expensive name-brand clothing.
- Avoid buying and wearing clothes that must be dry-cleaned.
- Select and purchase gifts only when they are on sale.
- Live at home or with a relative. Get a roommate.
- If you want or think you need something, wait a full 24 hours before you buy it.
Information based on USA Funds® Life Skills®. © 2002 United Student Aid Funds, Inc. Used with permission.