Fall 2008 Online Publication    

    Message from 0809 Chair
    Message from News Chair
Association News
    Remembering Tom Farrell
    State Reports
    Committee Updates
Special Features
    Financial Literacy Tips
    HS Grads Lack $$$ Skills
    Know Your FICO Score
    Defining Purpose
    Enrollment Reporting

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Winter 12/01
Spring 04/15
Summer 06/30

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Renee Weekes
USA Funds Offers Financial Literacy Tips:
Saving Money on Groceries and Gas

Submitted by:  Gene Logan, USA Funds

Trips to the grocery store and gas pump are costing everyone more money these days, but for college students rising prices can be particularly painful. Helping students learn simple strategies to trim their food and gas budgets will give them essential tools they can use throughout their lifetime—not just while they are on campus. Here are some tips designed to help institutions teach students to manage their money and time wisely while in school and after graduation.

When shopping for food, encourage students to:

  • Buy in bulk wherever possible.
  • Shop only once a week.
  • Buy only what is on their lists. Compare prices and buy items when they are on sale.
  • Use coupons and take advantage of in-store special savings.
  • Purchase only food items at the grocery store. Non-food items almost always are cheaper at a discount store.

In addition, students should investigate all of their campus meal plan options, pack their lunches daily, and eat out less often and less expensively by taking advantage of coupons, early bird specials, and cheaper entrees.

The best way to save money on gasoline: walk, bike, carpool or take public transportation. Other ways students can pinch pennies at the pump:

  • Purchase regular, unleaded gasoline and pay cash if the station offers a discounted price.
  • Keep their car tuned up and observe recommended service dates for oil changes and other required checks.
  • Inflate tires to the proper pressure.
  • Don’t drive faster than 65 miles per hour.
  • Use the air conditioning only when traveling on the highway.
  • Coast to stop lights and signs, and use the brake less often.
  • Combine errands to make fewer trips.

It’s important for students to track their expenses to obtain an accurate picture of the money they are spending on food and gasoline. As they work to reduce expenses, they should continue tracking their costs to see if they are successful, as undergraduate and graduate students need to understand basic strategies for managing their finances and completing their degrees in a timely manner. For more information on additional financial literacy tips and programs available to schools, please contact your USA Funds representative.

Committee Updates HS Grads Lack Finance Skills