Posts Tagged ‘saving money’

10 Ways to Spend LE$$ on Your Graduation Party

GETTING STARTED

Location! Hosting graduation parties at your house makes the most sense – it’s cheap and personal! However, if you know your place is too small for all your guests, see if one of your best friends would want to share their home with you and do a double party! Make sure you offer your time and energy to preparation and cleaning up afterwards.

Email! Sending invitations via email or using an eVitation helps you save money on stationary, envelopes, postage and time.

FOOD

No catering! Homemade goodies can go a long way. It will take more work the day of your party, but you will definitely save on hiring someone to make food and deliver it. Pasta salad is a great dish that is easily homemade.

Fill up guests on bread! People will eat less if they fill up right away on their snacks. Mini sandwiches, breadsticks, and crackers with cheese are all good options.

Napkins instead of plates! If you can stick to finger food, you won’t have to splurge on plastic silverware or plates. Larger paper napkins can definitely work for mini sandwiches or handfuls of snack mix.

Borrow supplies! If you need trays to display food, don’t go out and buy new ones. Ask friends to borrow some. Also, get creative with what you have! A large plate placed on top of an upside-down bowl can be a makeshift cookie display.

DECORATIONS

Never underestimate crepe paper streamers! They are super cheap and instantly add color and fun to any room. Using school colors is always super festive. Check out more crepe paper tips here!

One bouquet goes a long way! You can either use one large bouquet of flowers as a centerpiece to your main snack table, or split it up. Placing a single flower in a used wine or soda bottle is simple and elegant; suddenly your big bouquet has turned into tons of tiny versions!

ATMOSPHERE

Free music! Instead of buying or downloading new music, plug your speakers into a laptop or computer and pick your favorite stations on a site like Pandora or create playlists on Spotify.

Group activities! Setting out fun group activities will keep guests entertained. If you have a yard, setting out sports gear (soccer balls, badminton racquets, etc.) will invite them to play a game. If you have limited yard space, place a few decks of Trivial Pursuit or playing cards around for people to pick up and quiz each other.

Find more excellent advice on college and graduation at Cappex.com!

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Five Small Ways to Save for College in High School

You may think that as a high school student there isn’t a whole lot you can do to pay for your college education, but, you might be surprised how a little can go a long way.

For those of you who won’t qualify for financial aid but are still responsible for generating the funds, or for those of you who want to decrease your loan amount by contributing what you can, here is a list of small ways to save that can help you big while you’re still in high school.

$20/Week: While you’re probably only making a few hundred dollars a month with a part time job, if you can afford to place $20.00 from every weekly paycheck into a savings account your junior and senior years of high school, that’s over $2,000 by the time you enter college. That’s equivalent to one-third of the average tuition for one year at state school.

Save Those Birthday Cards: Instead of blowing the $50 you received from grandma on your birthday on new clothes or movie tickets, start a saving account while you’re still in high school for any money you receive between now and college. Between birthdays, Christmases, family traditions, holidays, and your graduation, you could find yourself with another $1,000 to put toward college. That could pay for one year of textbooks and school supplies.

Talk to Your Bank: While having a savings account is great, you may not have the best savings account for your specific needs. Talk to your bank about the best account to save for college, as some accounts may have higher interest rates, which will provide you with a little extra money in the long run. You may also want to inquire about CDs- Certificates of Deposit. A CD allows you to deposit money at a bank as you would an account; however you will be unable to access that money for a given amount of time, whether that be six months or several years. When that time is up, you’ll receive your money back in addition to the interest accumulated on it. As a minor, you will likely have to have your parents set up the CD with the bank.

Roll Your Pennies: It may sound completely ridiculous and childish, but saving spare change in a jug over years at a time has been proven to add up quickly. According to a Banking My Way article published in 2009, a family was able to save $7,000 in change over five years. That could be a whole year’s worth of tuition! While you may not be able to hit that number, others report having saved around $400 a year with this method.

Senior Sale: Before going off to college, you may want to do some serious springcleaning. Perhaps you don’t actually want to, but your parents aren’t giving you a choice. Instead of tossing everything away, include yourself in a neighborhood yard sale, or sell your old things on sites such as Craigslist or eBay. A little extra cash can pay for honor society fees, club t-shirts, and other little college expenses you may not have foreseen.

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Free Advice: 4 Ways to Penny Pinch During College

Categories: College Life

Attending college also means paying for college. Whether you’ve got savings from your parents, are paying as you go, or recently won $2.5 million from the Powerball, you’ll have to become well versed in the art of penny pinching. Because college is expensive.

According to a recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, both Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota are actively encouraging students to control their spending during their college years so they don’t have to live on less later in life.  A new program called “Money Matters” will teach students who enroll how to save money and prioritize what they buy. Perhaps this new program was implemented because of Augsburg’s 5% tuition hike this year. It could also have been because students often rack up large amounts of credit card debt during college. Either way, it’s ironic to many students on campus because Augsburg is charging tuition for the course…

A large portion of the “Money Matters” course focuses on wants versus needs. What do you want and what is it that you need? While some students may need to take this course, here’s some free advice on things you may want to give up until post graduation:

Shopping Sprees. Oh, I know. Shopping is a fun, recreational and social activity that helps blow off steam after a stressful week and before a big night out with friends. Try sharing clothes instead or hosting a clothes swap party! Even if you’re shopping at cheap outlets, you’re still spending money on something you may only wear once.

Coffee. I do NOT mean GIVE UP COFFEE. As a huge coffee drinker, in good faith I cannot ask that of a college student. But, you can drink for much cheaper. Chains like Starbucks charge way more than 7-11 or McDonald’s. A small, black coffee is way cheaper than a large latte. Also, you can buy cheap, single-serving instant coffee packets to carry with you or keep in your dorm.  Or get a coffee maker!

Books: Used vs. New. Buy used books. It is so simple on Ebay! Many college bookstores will also offer used books mixed in with their brand new copies. If you don’t see them, ask the staff where their used book section is located.

Cars. Public transportation is much less expensive than owning a car. Cars guzzle money through gas, insurance and any maintenance that comes up. If there is public transportation available on your campus, use it! Also, parking on a college campus can be a pain in the neck.

These are a few things you can do, but there are always moments where you can ask yourself, “Do I need this? Or do I just want this?” It’s hard to graduate with debt, so work hard now to avoid pains in the future. You’ll thank yourself!

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