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4 Frugal Living Tips to Help You Save for College

Kids can be such difficult little people. Their outrageous demands can quickly become overwhelming. They insist on being fed daily, and more than once a day at that. They want shelter and running water, heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. Eventually, they’ll expect you to save and fund their college education, too. If we were polar bears, we’d eat them on principal.

Since humans do not eat their young, we simply must find a way to give our children the financial, moral, and emotional support they need. While you’re on your own with morals and emotions, GradSave can help you out with the financial part. The answer is frugal living.

Frugal Living Tips

The word experts at Merriam-Webster define “frugal” as “characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources.” In short, frugal means being extremely careful with money. We’re all about conserving resources — whether they’re financial or ecological — so here our some tips on how to live frugally.

  1. Make it difficult to buy things. Resolve to make purchases with cash only, and bring only the amount of cash needed to buy the items on your necessities list. If you don’t have the money, it is impossible to spend the money.
  2. Ask for deals. It may be possible to secure a lower rate on car insurance, cell phone bills, cable and internet service simply by asking. The worst these providers can say is “no.” Call the customer service number and ask for the company’s customer retention department. This area is staffed with customer service reps who are empowered to knock serious money off your monthly bills. Don’t spend the money you save, instead deposit it in your college savings account.
  3. Change your diet. Kids need to be fed daily, but they don’t necessarily need a lot of options when it comes to what they eat. Save money on your grocery bill by cutting back on high-priced snacks, drinks, and other pre-packaged foods. Water (from the tap), fruits, veggies, and homemade treats are cheaper and healthier. You can also opt to make more casseroles to stretch meats. Make bakery items from scratch, rather than paying serious mark-up prices in the store, and get the kids involved for some family fun.
  4. Resolve to buy re-sale. Kids can outgrow their clothing before you’ve clipped the price tags off. Start doing business with a re-sale or consignment shop. Bring in your children’s outgrown clothing and most stores will give you cash or a store credit to spend on better-fitting attire.

 

While they may groan and grumble about the lack of filet mignon and being forced to wear last year’s styles, someday your kids will appreciate the frugality that financed their 529 plans and allowed them to become educated, productive members of society. Then they can take care of you for a change!

For more money-saving ideas and 529 tips, check out the other GradSave blog posts!

Posted by Michelle
Fri, June 29th, 2012 @09:17AM
 
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June 29, 2012 | Michelle
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