Methodist College

Money-Saving Strategies

Students may choose to lower miscellaneous expenses by using any combination of the following money-saving strategies: 

  • Reduce the cost of utilities
    • Disconnect your cable TV service
    • Turn off the lights when not in use.
  • Stop spending for things you don't really need.
  • Stop paying for purchases with your credit card.
  • Put all your loose change in a jar. Keep it for laundry or save it for unexpected expenses.
  • Reduce your food expenditures:
    • Buy in bulk
    • Don't shop more than once a week
    • Buy only what you have on your list, no impulse purchases
    • Compare prices
    • Don't buy what you can't use.
  • Eat out less frequently and less expensively:
    • Treat eating out as a luxury
    • Eat less expensive foods
    • Use restaurant coupons
    • Take advantage of early-bird specials
      Eat when you're hungry, not when you're upset
    • Order entrees only, not expensive desserts or appetizers
    • Split or share meals with a friend
    • Pack your lunch and take it with you to school.
  • Learn to cook for yourself.
  • Find an alternative to driving your car. Rely on public transportation, friends, bikes and your feet.
  • If you MUST have a car, try the following tips:
    • Wash your car yourself
    • Purchase regular, unleaded gas
    • Look for coupons for oil changes
    • Keep your car in shape
    • Use cash or debit cards to pay for gas
    • Carpool with friends.
  • Find free or inexpensive ways to entertain yourself: 
    •  Matinee, discount movies
    • Local museums and parks
    • Ask about student discounts
    • Participate in sports
    • Join school clubs
    • Read a book
    • Hike a trail
    • Rent a movie
    • Buy season passes/book of tickets for activities you engage in frequently.
  • Take care of yourself, but look for deals
    • Avoid membership in trendy health clubs - use the school's health club or the YMCA
    • Rely on coupons or specials for hairdressers/barbers
    • Don't waste money on expensive cosmetics sold at department stores
    • Look for free-sample cosmetics, or purchase them at discount stores
    • Give yourself a manicure/pedicure instead of paying someone else to do it, have a manicure/pedicure party with your friends
    • Shop around; look for sales/specials.
  • Shop around for special long-distance rates that meet your individual needs.
  • Stay away from the shopping mall and out of the stores (particularly when you're upset or depressed).
  • Avoid or reduce expensive luxury habits.
  • Buy products, clothes and food that you really need.
  • Check out the costs of banking and negotiate what works best for you (e.g. avoid ATM fees, checking fees, designer checks, etc.).
  • Don't be influenced to spend by friends who have more money than you.
  • Shop for clothes wisely:
    • Shop at discount outlet stores
    • Consignment stores, and campus thrift shops
    • Look for generic labels; avoid expensive name-brand clothing
    • Avoid buying and wearing clothes that must be dry-cleaned.
  • Select and purchase gifts only when they are on sale.
  • Live at home or with a relative. Get a roommate.
  • If you want or think you need something, wait a full 24 hours before you buy it.
Information based on USA Funds® Life Skills®. © 2002 United Student Aid Funds, Inc.