Once you’ve thrown your graduation cap in the air, it’s time to face the real world. Although you’re not in school anymore, you could still probably stand to keep your living costs as low as a student’s because — let’s face it — that entry-level salary probably won’t stretch very far. Here are some ways you can live a frugal student’s lifestyle:
Use student discounts: You still have some time before the date on your student ID is expired, so make use of student discounts (here’s a list!) while you can. Use student clothing discounts from J.Crew or Ann Taylor to get yourself a work outfit.Find roommates: Room with other people to keep living costs down, just like you did in college. But pick carefully — you don’t want to end up with a nightmare rooming situation. Do background checks if it’s a stranger from Craigslist, or try to stick to people you know. Make sure you ask your potential roommate these five questions before moving in with them.
Make use of the library: It’s time to transition from the school library to a local public library! Keep on getting your books for free by patronizing your local library.
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Go for used options: When you were a student, you’d willingly taken on a graduating student’s furniture and other knickknacks. Well don’t stop post-grad! There are plenty of great used finds on Craigslist that are in mint condition, so be sure to keep an eye out for what you want.
Create your own meal plan: Now that you don’t belong to your school’s meal plan, you need to learn how to budget for your meals and make your own grub. You can refer to the cookbook for college students — The Healthy College Cookbook ($9) — for simple, quick, and budget-friendly recipes.
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