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5 Tips to Cut Down Graduation Expenses

Moneymagpie Team 6th Jun 2024 No Comments

Reading Time: 3 minutes

While graduation may seem like the end of your student loan payments, it can actually add several hundred or even thousands more dollars to your expenses if not planned carefully. From caps and gowns to travel and accommodation, here are five tips to help you save money on graduation costs.

Begin With the Essentials

A budget allows you to determine the amount of money to reserve for graduation expenses such as caps and gowns, photo shoots, memorabilia, and celebratory dinners or festivities. When planning your budget, consider any unforeseen costs and patterns in your current expenses that might affect your graduation spending.

  • Is there a specific expense putting pressure on your budget?
  • Has your take-home pay changed from last year?
  • Are there new recurring bills for medical or living expenses?

Understanding your financial habits can help you make the necessary adjustments for graduation.

Reduce Your Gift Expenses

Before purchasing a gift, take the time to shop around. Graduation season offers fantastic deals on appliances and cookware, but to ensure you get the best price, compare costs online. 

Coupon codes can often reduce the price of online purchases below what you’d pay at local stores. Online shopping offers the convenience of home delivery, and you can often find free shipping codes.

Another effective way to save on gifts is by organizing a group purchase for a high-ticket item. If there’s an expensive gift, coordinating with others can be more economical than buying a lower-quality gift. For instance, you can get affordable college honor cords that are of high quality. This way the whole group can save a lot of money.

Create Your Budget

This involves a few straightforward steps: calculate your take-home pay, gather credit card and bank statements and receipts from the past few months, categorize your expenses (rent, groceries, entertainment), and determine your monthly spending in each category. Once you’ve analyzed the data and clearly see your income and expenditures, you can begin creating your budget.

Plan the Party

The most effective way to save on a graduation party is to plan in advance. If you have family or friends willing to assist, consider co-hosting the party at someone’s home and sharing the costs. By having each host bring a snack or drink, you can minimize food expenses, and decorations can be inexpensive by using photos of the graduates and items from a dollar store.

If many guests come from out of town, dining out might be a better option. This can accommodate everyone’s weekend plans more easily. Meeting at a centrally located restaurant could be the most convenient for all guests. At a restaurant, people typically expect to pay for their meals unless otherwise noted, so you won’t be responsible for covering everyone’s food and drinks.

Set Limits

Certain expenses are consistent each month, such as rent or car payments. In contrast, others like groceries and entertainment can vary. Establish spending limits for these variable costs, such as movie nights or takeout, allowing you to allocate more resources towards seasonal expenses like graduation.


Getting used to a budget may take some time as you seek the right balance between spending and saving. However, beginning now can reduce your stress by graduation day. You might find that some of your spending limits are too conservative, while others could be more generous than necessary. Reassess your budget in relation to your expenses and make adjustments accordingly.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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