The fundamental concept of Spend is: make a budget or a plan for using your money wisely. It’s helpful to set short and long-term financial goals and manage your money to meet them. 



How can I save money as a college student?

As a college student every dollar counts. Be smart about what you spend money on, and always ask yourself: “Is there a way I can do what I want to do by spending less?” You are likely to find out that, in many cases, the answer is yes.


How can I stop overspending?

You may not be able to increase your income immediately, but you can always tackle your expenses. If you are spending too much, first identify where you are spending your money. Is it on gas? Is it on clothes? Once you identify when you are spending money, you can develop strategies on how to spend less.


How do I save on gas?

The most obvious ways to save on gas are to drive less, share rides with family and friends, use public transportation, and consolidate multiple trips into one. You can also save money on gas by making your car more efficient by removing unnecessary items from the car and trunk that may be weighing the car down. The excess weight causes your car to use more gas. You can also look for the cheapest gas station in your area.


How can I save money on car insurance?

There are certain things that are in your control – such as driving safety, avoiding tickets, and avoiding accidents. A good driving record will keep your rates lower. There are other things you can’t control-your driving history, your age, your type of car (after you have purchased it). Shop around the web for good pricing.


How can I save money on groceries?

There are many ways to save on groceries. Often free newspapers have coupons on the weekends that can help you save money. Sign up for a preferred shopper card at the grocery store to take advantage of discounts. Don’t buy things simply because they are on sale. Buy items you need, especially when those items are on sale. You might also consider buying essentials-in bulk so that the cost per piece is lower.


How can I save money on food and still at healthy?

Often times, the least expensive food is the worst for your long-term health. Think of fast food. However, some of the best food for you is also the cheapest. Think of fresh fruits and vegetables, water, and salads. Eating inexpensively-but healthy-is a worthy goal that will serve you well in the long run.


How can I save money on lunch?

Making a sandwich at home with ingredients from the grocery store is a lot less expensive than buying a lunch everyday and there is a good chance it will be healthier too.


How can I save on coffee?

Do you like to drink coffee? Do you have a favorite coffee shop that you stop by regularly? Think for a minute how much money you spend weekly on coffee, and then think about how much money you could save by buying a coffee maker and making coffee at home. The saving will be staggering.


How can I save money on water?

Bottles of water can cost between $1-2 a piece. If you buy one a day, you could easily spend $300-$400 a year on water.  You can save a lot of money by buying your own reusable bottle or canteen, and possible a water filter, and filling up your water at home.


How can I save money on rent?

You might consider living at home with family members. If possible, or living with roommates to save money.


Actions You Can Take

  • Live within your means.
  • Be a smart shopper, and compare prices and quality.
  • Track your spending habits and develop a budget or spending plan.
  • Plan for short-term and long-term financial goals.


Hints and Tips

  • A good way to take control of your spending is to set the maximum amounts you plan to spend each week or each month. Once you’ve set the maximum, stick with your plan.
  • It’s helpful to track your spending over a few weeks or months to get a handle on how you are using your dollars and cents. Look into using on-line systems or phone apps for keeping track of your spending – you will be amazed at what you’ll learn about your habits!
  • Be careful not to let a sale or discount coupon persuade you to purchase something you don’t really need and that isn’t in your spending plan.
  • When planning a big purchase, take time to comparison shop and check prices at a few different stores, by phone or online.



Banking Basics

Sample Budgeting Worksheet

Money Smart Podcast

Internet Banking


For more Federal information, guides and helpful tools about the MyMoney Five Spend principleread more