02 Jun

5 More Easy & Unexpected Ways to Find College Money

If you’re a regular reader of the Pay for College Blog, you know that I am a huge proponent of finding ways to increase your cash flow to help offset your college costs. Simply find a way to save money in one place (or many places!), and funnel it into your college funding strategy.

Having trouble seeing the “big picture” when it comes to cash flow planning? Try penciling out this month’s budget with this free Monthly Cash Flow Planning worksheet from MasterCard. Then consider one (or all) of the following ideas:

1. Explore the FTC’s 66 Ways to Save Money. The Federal Trade Commission has put together this handy little 12-page PDF with 66 ideas about how to save money on everything from your mortgage to airline flights.

2. Make Your Money Work for You. You more than likely have some funds saved somewhere. Savings for shorter term goals, for example, are usually housed in an interest-accruing account. But is your hard-earned money working most efficiently for you? Is your savings account at a bank offering one of the highest interest rates? Do you get free checking with your checking account? Even your emergency fund should be earning interest. A little research could go a long way and mean more dollars building up in your account!

3. Increase Your Grocery Store Savvy. Groceries have a huge impact on your budget (especially if you have a houseful of hungry teenagers!), so saving money on your grocery shopping can be a big deal! Shopping for produce at local produce chains (we have Henry’s Market here in San Diego) means you get local produce, which can be cheaper AND fresher. My family also uses The Grocery Game, a site which–for a very small fee–alerts you to the sales, free (or almost free) items and coupons at the major grocery store you shop at.

4. Ask for Discounted Bills. You might be surprised to find out that a vast majority of the “luxury services” you pay for every month will probably be willing to lower your payments if you simply take the time to negotiate. One story at the Get Rich Slowly blog details how 15 minutes of negotiation saved one man 15% on his cable bill, another how 10 minutes got $57 of late fees dropped from a credit card bill. You can ask for discounts or negotiate lower fees with for your cable, cell or landline phone, hotel stays, rental car, internet, and more! Best of all, you have nothing to lose except a few minutes of your time.

5. Save on Prescription Medications. There are several ways to save on costly prescription drugs. First, consult your physician to see if you can use a “generic” version instead of a brand name prescription drug. Some pharmacies, like Ralph’s and Wal*Mart will fill them for as little as $4 per 30-day supply. You can also check stores like Costco for significant pharmacy discounts.

Now, don’t forget to take all that money you’ve saved and redirect it into your college funding plan!

All the best,
Deborah Fox

photo: Veggie Delight 1 by Francois Carstens

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2 Responses to “5 More Easy & Unexpected Ways to Find College Money”

  1. 1
    Pay for College Blog » Blog Archive » Don’t Count on Athletic Scholarships: NU Cuts Its Football Team Says:

    […] I also encourage my client families to take a close look at their cash flow. I’ve shared some great ideas about how to increase your family’s cash flow to pay for college in the posts Finding Money for College in Unexpected Places and 5 More Easy & Unexpected Ways to Find Money for College. […]

  2. 2
    Pay for College Blog - Tips on reducing the cost of college Says:

    […] I also encourage my client families to take a close look at their cash flow. I’ve shared some great ideas about how to increase your family’s cash flow to pay for college in the posts Finding Money for College in Unexpected Places and 5 More Easy & Unexpected Ways to Find Money for College. […]

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