ways to use your graduation money wisely
Posted : April 24, 2014
Last Updated : April 28, 2016
Graduation is a time for celebration, a time for new beginnings, and a time for ... graduation gifts! For most high school and college seniors, these gifts will be in the form of money. If you will be graduating soon, make sure you utilize these smart ways to use your graduation money.
For High School Graduates
As you graduate from high school and head off to college, you will have a variety of expenses. The gift money you receive from graduating can help you:
Buy college textbooks. The cost of college textbooks can be expensive. On average, a college student will spend around $350 per semester on textbooks alone. While there are ways to save money on college textbooks, such as buying used and renting, you will still need a good chunk of cash to pay for this expense.
Stock up on college academic supplies. You are going to need an assortment of supplies to get through your college years. From technology to smaller essentials, the costs will add up. Make sure you have enough cash to purchase common college supplies such as: a notebook computer, a tablet, a backpack or rucksack, folders, calendars, calculators, pens, pencils, highlighters, etc.
Prep your dorm room. You may want to use your graduation money to buy décor and necessities for your dorm room. You are going to need bed linens, organizers, a mini-refrigerator, cooking utensils, bathroom supplies, etc. Save money on décor for your dorm room by shopping at Amazon and Dormco.com.
For College Graduates
As a college graduate, you want to start out your transition into the working world on the right foot. Use your graduation money to:
Purchase working attire. If your current wardrobe only consists of jeans, tees, and sweats, you will need to shop for clothing that will be suitable for your new job. The type of job in which you will be working will determine the type of attire you will need to purchase. This attire may range from dress clothes to scrubs to company logo apparel.
Obtain a luggage set. If your new job will require a lot of traveling, make sure to purchase a luggage set to avoid packing your items in plastic bags. You can find affordable luggage at Amazon and Samsonite.
Pay off your credit cards. The average college student will graduate with $2,000-$5,000 in credit card debt. Start your professional life off on a clean slate by using your graduation gift money to pay down or pay off your credit cards.
For High School and College Graduates
The following are ways to use graduation gift money that are beneficial if you are either a high school graduate or a college graduate:
Create an emergency fund. If you don’t already have an emergency fund, now would be the opportune time to create one since you have extra money. You never know when your car could break down or when you could rack up unexpected medical expenses.
Save for retirement. You are never too young to start saving for retirement. The sooner you begin saving, the more time your money has to grow. Consider putting a percentage of your gift money into a retirement fund to help prepare for your future.
Reward yourself. Graduating from high school and/or college is a big accomplishment, so you deserve to have some fun! Use ten to fifteen percent of your graduation gift money to reward yourself for this achievement. Go on a shopping trip, plan a weekend getaway, or pamper yourself with a massage.
As you graduate from high school or college, think about the best ways you can use your gift money to benefit your life and your future. Congratulations on your accomplishment!