12 Smart Ways to Make Your Graduation Money Work for Your Future

The average college graduate receives $1,847 worth of cash and gifts from family and friends. While it’s tempting to splurge all of it, your future self will thank you for spending it wisely. Don’t worry.

With these 12 smart spending strategies, you’ll still be able to treat yourself while learning to be financially responsible. Here are smart ways to make your graduation money work for your future.

1. Buy Discounted Gift Cards for Big Purchases If you’re going to make a big purchase like a new TV or laptop, consider buying a discount gift card to save money! Raise is one of many online marketplaces connecting people looking to sell their unwanted gift cards. You can score gift cards at stores you regularly shop in for up to 30% off.

2. Shop Through Cash-back Apps Back in your parent’s day, there were coupons. Today there are cash-back apps. So whether you’re buying work clothes, new electronics, or stuff for your apartment, these apps help your graduation money go further by giving you a portion of your total sale back.

3. Keep Control Over Your Spending Research has found that people tend to overspend when using debit or credit cards. If you’re starting to feel like your spending is out of control, try shopping with cash. You’re more likely to think twice about what you’re buying when you have to count out the amount due, which leads to less spending.

4. Set Yourself Up to Cook at Home There’s nothing wrong with eating out here or there, but eating out every day and grabbing expensive coffee every morning is sure to bust your budget.

5. Consider a Season or Annual Pass Are you a frequent visitor to an amusement park, museum, ski resort, or board game cafe? Consider buying an annual pass instead of sporadic day tickets to save money over the course of a year.

6. Set-up An Ergonomically Correct Home Office With work from home here to stay in some form, setting up a proper workspace must prevent painful and costly neck and back injuries. A survey from the American Chiropractic Association reported a surge in neck and back pain since people moved en masse from a home office to working from home.

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