Money. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Starting graduate school (and moving across the country in some cases) can put a strain on your budget. Many of you have talked with us about the fears you have around this financial transition. To help ease the stress of figuring your finances out, here are some resources and ideas that help make a limited budget less problematic. You can do this! All you need is some creativity and a bit of advance planning.

Furnishing Your New Home

Sometimes moving is easier and cheaper if you don’t bring everything you own with you. Once you’re here, there are plenty of ways to furnish your new place on a tight budget.

Deals for Play, Eats, and Services

Low Cost Healthcare

See a Doctor

These places have the option to apply for a sliding scale fee, based upon your income.

Buy Medicine

Managing Your Coffee Addiction

Free Coffee at The Seattle School

In the Commons area of The Seattle School, there is drip coffee brewed throughout the day for our community! We source a house blend from Slate Coffee Roasters. If we’re out and you’d like to help by making a pot, just ask someone at the front desk to show you how, and remember the directions are labeled by the machine (don’t try to guess your way through it, it can be a messy process). One of our favorite coffee shops, Street Bean, is right up the road, and they also support local youth and provide apprenticeships to individuals desiring to exit street life.

Punch Cards for Your Favorite Shops

Many coffee shops have cards that get stamped or punched each time you buy a drink. Usually you get the 10th drink free. Not every place does this, but here’s a list of a few that do:

Prepaid Giftcards that Factor in a Free Drink

Keep Parking Costs Down

The cheapest route is to walk, bus, or bike, but if you must drive, there are some ways to shave a few bucks off here and there.

Save on Groceries

Food Stamps

If you’re a full-time student and work at least 20 hours per week, you can qualify for food stamps. You can find the application and more details here.

Grocery Stores Rated by Price (least expensive first):

Grocery Outlet:

This is the cheapest option by far, though product selection varies, and you often won’t be able to get everything you’re looking for. It’s worth going here first and then filling in the gaps elsewhere. You can Grocery Outlet locations in Crown Hill, Bitter Lake, Lake City, and the International District.

The Rest:

Beyond Seattle:

If you have a car and don’t mind driving a bit further to stock up on groceries, chances are you can save a lot. These stores are outside of the Seattle city limits, either south in Renton, Kent or Federal Way, or north in Shoreline and Lynnwood.

So there you have it. The good news about Seattle is that there are so many fun, inexpensive things to do in the city, whether it’s hiking, hanging out at the parks, roaming through the many libraries and bookstores, or sitting in a pub for hours with new friends playing games and sipping your drink of choice. We’ll have more to come on all of that later! You do not have to succumb to Ramen and nights of boredom—just plan ahead and get creative. And don’t forget to share your own ideas and money saving tips on your Facebook cohort page!