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.

Investing is the best path to achieve wealth but it’s not a straight road. Unlike saving, investing involve some risks that could cause you to lose money.  You need to understand these hazards so you may be able to mitigate them.

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!

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 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 Now that your college meal plan is gone, you’re going to find that food will be one of your three biggest expenses. The average American spends over $200 a month eating out! 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.

7. Start an Emergency Fund Things are going to happen. Your car will get a flat tire, your phone might break, or your laptop stops working. Adulthood is full of unexpected expenses. Your future self will thank you for saving for a rainy day.

8. Tackle Your Debt The cycle of debt can cost you thousands of dollars or more over time. It’s time to start paying down any credit card debt you may have incurred in college. Check out the back of your credit card statements to see exactly how much your purchases will end up costing you when you only make the minimum monthly payment.

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