Happy graduation! College is right around the corner, and your bank account has never been so full after receiving tons of graduation checks. While all of this is really exciting, and you’re ready to go shopping for all your college needs, you might want to think twice about blowing it all on a giant shopping spree.
I remember when I graduated high school not long ago, and let me tell you, I went crazy with my graduation money. My bank account plummeted faster than I thought it would, and I wish I would’ve been smarter with it. So, learning from my mistake, here are five things you should actually do with your graduation money.
This one is the hardest, but it’s a smarter idea to live like you have been and get a job in the meantime. This way you can still buy yourself things without spending that precious graduation money. Saving is definitely a great idea because you can allot yourself a weekly or monthly budget while in school, so you can actually calculate how long it will last you. I can guarantee that you will thank yourself later in the middle of second semester when all your friends are broke and your bank account still has three digits.
Build a Capsule Wardrobe
Capsule wardrobes are one of the hottest minimalist trends right now. If you haven’t ever considered one, now would be a great time to try it out. Capsule wardrobes are between 10-30 pieces and amazingly versatile – perfect for college! I can attest that there is no room for your 20 pairs of shoes and your 30 favorite shirts. If your hometown is not within driving distance of your school, forget about it. You can’t just bring home all your fall clothes and bring back winter ones easily. I highly suggest creating a capsule wardrobe for school for this reason. Your roommate will thank you for this.
It’s never too early to start investing. You don’t even need a reason, just a hundred or more dollars to put away. The earlier you start investing the more money you make, so why not start now? And the great benefit is that you really don’t need to invest an arm and a leg- only a portion of your graduation money is more than enough. But be careful – make sure to research different investments and what they can do for you.
Purchase Dorm Necessities
Key word: necessities. This is what killed my graduation savings. DO NOT go out and buy all the cute things you see, PLEASE. You will only be wasting your time and money. If you don’t know your roommate, don’t buy anything you could split the cost on. It would suck to show up with your brand new fancy Keurig to find out that she already has one. Another reason to only buy necessities is because you never really know what your dorm is going to look like, be shaped, how big it is, etc. I suggest bringing/buying the necessities like sheets, clothes, toiletries, makeup, etc. Everything else like decorations, mirrors, and small appliances can be bought after you move in to avoid over spending.
I HIGHLY recommend this option. Chances are your school has a freshman study abroad program, or at least a regular study abroad program at that. This was the one smart thing I spent my graduation money on, and It was SO worth it. Spending $1500 to go to Europe vs. $1500 on clothes and dorm decorations? I choose Europe. Look into your school’s programs to see what they offer. More times than not, if your school does not offer study abroad programs, they can find one for you through another school. Imagine how great it would be to wake up in Tokyo or Paris or wherever else and go to class!
There are soooo many different and smart ways to spend those big graduation bucks. I can guarantee these are all better options than just spending it on whatever, whenever! Make a plan, and be smart with your money!
What are some smart ways you spent your graduation money? Leave a comment and let me know!