Saving Money Post Grad

Saving Money Post GradCongratulations on getting that undergrad degree! You’ve made it! … but, now what? If you’re like most recent college grads (or if you’re staring down the barrel of your graduation), you’re going to dive into the job market and hope for the best. But what if you don’t get hired right away? You don’t want to have to move home and live in your parents’ basement!

Get Roommates

Get a few roommates. You thought your dorm room days were over but, but it may be cheaper to go in with a few friends on your first apartment. You might feel crowded but it will definitely help you save up some cash for your next place.  To make life easier in a small apartment with a bunch of roommates, have everybody pare down their stuff. Imagine sharing a tiny little apartment in Orlando, FL; why not go in together on a local storage unit for all of those things that you want to keep but can’t fit into your new place?

Learn to Cook

Want to start saving money on food? Learn how to cook. Since you’ve been living on cafeteria slop and fast food for the last few years, it’s understandable that you may not be the best cook at this point. Spend some time watching shows on the cooking channel. Learn to read a recipe. Ask your mom or dad for help. Watch videos on YouTube. Check out recipe books from the library. Learning how to make your own food will save you a ton of money (provided your roommates don’t eat all of your ingredients).

Sell Your Car

If your town or city has public transit (or you can get around easily enough by bicycle), sell your car. Use the money from the sale to pay off any debt you’ve accumulated during your undergrad years and put the rest in savings.   A monthly bus pass costs a lot less than car and insurance payments. Plus, you can use your commute time to read, catch up on news, or daydream. Now that is saving money!

Do Odd Jobs to Supplement Your Income

Your days of baby-sitting, mowing lawns, and pet-sitting, are far from over. In fact, you can use them to either supplement your entry level income or help you stay alive while you’re waiting for that coveted interview. You might also look into methods of earning money part time online.

There are all sorts of things that you can do to make your life cheaper (and more profitable) after you graduate. These are just a few of them. What have been some of your favorite ways to save money (and earn extra money)?






  1. says

    Definitely agree with all of these. I only know a few friends who live close enough to public transit to get rid of their cars, but pretty much everyone can work odd jobs and pursue side income. It’s been a big part of my post-grad plan the past year or so.

  2. says

    I agree with all these tips but still find some type of job first. Even with roomies you need some income coming in. I also don’t have a problem if a graduate is looking for work did the internships but needs to move home until they find work. Hopefully they learned to cook before they went to college. LOL

  3. says

    That I didn’t live like this is one of my big regrets, really. The funny thing is that none of this should have been hard to do — I had roommates through college, cooked all the time, didn’t need a car, and worked while putting crazy hours into school — but felt too proud to live like that as soon as I had a diploma in-hand. Good post

  4. says

    Good tips! I did a few of these myself and having a roommate was just sort of second nature there for a number of years. The cooking though, not so much…definitely a trial and error situation. 😉

  5. says

    I got roommates until I was 28. They didn’t bother me most of the time because I had a plan to save aggressively and they helped me do it. The last two years they lived in my property so I had more of a say on who comes and go, but globally it was a great experience.

  6. Brian says

    If you are waiting until you graduated to get a job than you waited too long. Everyone I went to school with had either scored a job by the middle of the semester or had already been accepted to grad school.

    The other points are spot on. I had roomates for a long long time and learned to cook for myself pretty early on. Even if that meant “breakfast for dinner” was a staple along with Rice and grilled chicken.

  7. says

    Having roommates not only saves money, it can be a lot of fun. I lived with friends for the first few years after school and I definitely think it was more fun than living alone. On the cooking front, if you can cook a large batch of something that you can have for a week, I think that’s a lot easier than finding the time to cook every day. Definitely a huge money saver.

    • says

      I still like cooking in large batches- vegetable soup, vegetarian chili. I like to make everybody eat it until they can’t stand it anymore!

    • says

      I’ve always had some side gigs….I used to clean houses on the side for what seemed like forever. It was hard work but it paid well.

  8. says

    I like to wash windows. I had my own window washing company in college. When I feel like I need a few bucks I spend a day passing out flyers and I normally get one or two to wash the next day. A nice way to make some weekend cash.

  9. says

    This is almost exactly the advice I give new grads as well. By avoiding the traditional spending/debt/work treadmill, any grad making a decent salary could be financially independent in their 30s. Hope they listen!

  10. says

    I think younguns tend to want to go out more so I would suggest taking advantage of Happy Hour deals where you can get sushi for super cheap, wings for a quarter, beer for a dollar, etc. The appetizers can add up to a cheap meal, and you don’t miss out on social time.

      • Liz S says

        I usually SPLIT a kid’s meal with one of my little ones and we still have leftovers! 😛 But if I do go out to eat without them, I still order a kid’s meal because it’s way cheaper and the portion size is plenty.

  11. Nick @ says

    Great list Holly! I think an important one is adopting “cheap” hobbies (i.e. don’t spend so much money on booze anymore!). Things like hiking and biking are free once you invest in the equipment.

  12. Kyle @ Debt Free Diaries says

    While Leslie and I never finished school, we have taken a lot of these tips for post grads and added them into our life. On extra tip I can offer grads who manage to find a new job with great starting salary is to hold off on buying all the upgrades like a new car or crazy nice apartment stuff. Work on paying off all that debt and you’ll be able to get much nicer stuff later in without all the stress of debt on your shoulders.

  13. says

    These are great little tips! I an too agree with several of the other commenters that they can be useful tips for those of us who are past the ‘post grad’ phase. I think my favorite one is the carless one. As you know, going carless can be a little more cumbersome (in most areas of the US) after you have a few kiddos. But going carless, even for a little while, can be perspective changing! This is a great post for me to send out to a few friends that have recently graduated.

  14. says

    Good points! Most new grads want to start their career and move out. It is the first step to enter the adult world. The biggest obstacle is that first job, but the second biggest is the first and last month’s rent to get the apartment. You need savings for that.

  15. says

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  16. says

    Great tips, Holly! Somehow we developed a belief that once we graduate from college we hit the big time and life is peachy keen, so live it up! Unfortunately for most that means taking on more debt. To me, people really overlook taking on odd jobs or finding a great side hustle. We think it’s too much, but it can make a huge difference and sometimes even lead into a full-time job or business.

  17. says

    good tips Holly! Kids should live like college kids post college to save money. I know plenty who did the opposite. They figure that since they have a job and more money coming in than they’ve ever had before that there should be lifestyle inflation. Some people I know spent more even before graduation in anticipation that they would have money when they started working

  18. says

    I’ve been out of college for a year and a half now, and I still see my friends going crazy with expensive vacations, going out to eat every other night, going to the movies, or going out to a bar…It sucks, because I decline most of the time, but it also makes me sad that they’re blowing their paychecks away. I highly doubt any of them are thinking about their future. When you graduate, you want to say HELLO WORLD and prove yourself to everyone. That doesn’t usually involve responsible saving and paying down student loan debt.

  19. says

    This is great advice, especially the getting a roommate. Housing is where you can either save or spend a lot of money and being that you just got out of college, you’re probably used to pretty crappy living conditions.

  20. says

    Besides spending less than I earned cooking was probably the next best thing I learned to do. I was always learning new recipes to cook and was fascinated with foods from around the world. I rarely if ever ate out and had more enjoyment out of cooking my own meals. Money well spent and saved in my opinion.

  21. says

    Back when I graduated college, I’d probably argue with your suggestion to sell off the car. But, now being a bit more money-savvy I’d tell my college day Jason to sell the car now. The lifestyle I live is in a city, close to transportation if I need to go someplace further. I am able to borrow my friend’s and family car and I realized I do not need to travel far for the things I need. I can walk to them. Now I have no car payments, no insurance payments and no maintenance costs. I actually use car-sharing for hours/days I need a vehicle.

  22. says

    These are ideal tips for the college graduate. getting a job is probably the first goal of young people but it may not be easy to find work instantly. Doing odd jobs can be the best recourse for young people temporarily. Besides, you need to earn a few dollars until you get hired permanently.

  23. Wil20Ferra says

    Instead of just saving money after graduation you might as well want to take note of investing what you save. And you can check on investing thru the stock market by checking anyoption review site and you can definitely get a big help from them because they also provide some tutorials about trading and similar stuff.

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