Graduating On A Budget


Graduation season is fast approaching and you have every reason to celebrate, you made it! Odds are that you’re realizing all the fees that are starting to rack up as you get closer to graduation.

Between spring concerts on campus and new outfits for senior celebrations, you don’t want to miss out on these special moments with your friends just because you are on a budget.

You can manage your money and still enjoy making senior memories. Below are some simple tricks to help you prepare for graduation season:


Sell as many items to underclassmen as you can.

If you have slightly used or brand new items, you can make a little extra cash before all of the underclassmen leave for summer break.

MoCaFi Tip: You can also sell your textbooks, however, depending on the book, textbook buyback programs at your college bookstore most likely wouldn’t offer you a lot of cash for selling it back to them. If your school doesn’t have an online forum, you can try to ask your current professors to reach out to their roster of students taking their classes next semester. Try to sell it at a price that is slightly less than what you originally paid for it, this way people still are getting a better deal than buying it online or at the college bookstore next semester.


Search for low budget graduation outfits.

New outfits can be costly, but you can find inexpensive graduation outfits at thrift stores. The best part about graduating in May or June is that the weather is a lot warmer, which means you don’t have to worry about layering up.

MoCaFi Tip: Check in your wardrobe for an outfit. You may have posted it on Instagram already, but using the right accessories (like a belt or long necklace) can really change the look of an outfit). Accessorizing can be a whole lot cheaper than buying a brand new outfit.


Graduation stoles are cheaper as a group order.

Ordering more than one stole (approximately 10 stoles) is typically a lot cheaper than ordering a single graduation stole. Celebrating your cultural pride in your kente stole when you walk across the stage to get your diploma is such a rewarding feeling. However, you don’t need to shell out big bucks for something you’ll only wear once (or twice if you wish to continue your education).

MoCaFi Tip: You can order your stoles with a group of your friends or reach out to your cultural organization at school to help cover a portion of the costs.


Drink as a group.

As the semester is winding down, there will probably be a lot more events and parties, particularly during the week leading up to graduation and you may want to an alcoholic beverage, or two. Constantly freeloading on other people’s alcohol can put a damper on friendships. However, if everyone in your friend group contributes $5-10 you can create mixed drinks or a punch that everyone can enjoy and it would be a lot cheaper than paying for alcohol on your own. As always, drink responsibly.


Suggest your family rent a space instead of staying in a hotel.

If you have out of town guests coming to see your big moment, you probably don’t have the space to house all of them. Hotel fees can really add up, especially if you go to school in a small town and they raise the hotel price around graduation time. Locals with extra space may be renting their homes for a few nights around graduation season. Airbnb is a great source to find spaces close to your college or university.


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