Five Ways to Spur Savings While Prepping for College
From the college experts at DormCo.com
Sending a student to college has become an increasingly expensive endeavor. While the benefit of a good education can’t be overlooked, the cost of that education can be daunting! When prepping a new student for dorm and college life, make financially sound decisions to bolster savings — and to ease concerns. Saving and being smart about money can be practiced both by new students (college freshmen) and their parents. By proactively preparing to manage expenses, you’ll maximize savings. See below for five easy-to-implement cost saving tips for freshmen.
1. Be smart about textbook purchases. Renting textbooks saves you money, but be sure to consider purchasing if the textbook is for a major course. It can be useful to have those core textbooks down the road. Also, when renting, compare prices. Big-name rental companies aren’t always the best option. Keep comparing until you find the lowest price. It might take a little longer, but it’s worth it.
2. Choose the most efficient meal plan for your personal circumstances. Many schools have multiple meal plan options, from a 7, 10, 14 meal/week to unlimited. Don’t overpay for a plan if you have a picky eater or a student with food allergies who will have to prepare many meals in his dorm room. Conversely, it also isn’t price-efficient to try and save money by purchasing a cheaper meal plan for your student if he’s the type to eat frequent smaller meals. If you choose a 10 meal/week plan and your student goes broke ordering pizza and going to a campus shop for overpriced convenience food, you’re losing major money. Saving money with a meal plan is multi-dimensional and unique to each student.
3. Split expenses with a roommate. You may think you’ll save money by deal-hunting and buying large dorm items (mini-fridges, televisions, etc.) upfront, but it could hurt you in the long run. Splitting the costs of those items (e.g. one roommate brings the TV, one brings the fridge, they both split the cost of cable) saves the hassle of potentially over-buying and being unable to return things down the line. Wait until your student gets assigned a roommate and then discuss options.
4. Do one-stop dorm shopping. Use a dorm specialty store, like DormCo.com, to purchase all your dorm supplies! You can purchase reasonably priced college supplies — from bedding, to storage options, to trunks and seating — all in one place. Also, DormCo.com offers flat-rate $2.95 shipping on your entire order. (Yes, you can ship a bedding package, mini-fridge, AND a trunk for just $2.95.) This allows you to get a great deal on quality dorm supplies that will last your students throughout their years living in dorms, and you’ll save BIG on shipping costs, too. With all of other tasks on your plate to prep your child for college — tuition bills, scholarship applications and potential empty-nest syndrome — you’ll be happy that you chose an all-in-one online retailer for your child’s dorm necessities.
5. Teach students how to save. The number one way for a student to be financially unprepared for college is to know nothing about personal finance. If your family doesn’t have a lot of disposable income — or you don’t want to just be spoon-feeding your student piles of money — make him start saving before school and practice finance management. Students can take on an inexpensive monthly bill, like their cell phone, to learn budgeting. You can also allot them a certain budget that they HAVE to stick to. In the end, it’s up to the student — once he’s at school — to make sure that all your efforts mean something.
About The Author
DormCo.com is the leading online college dorm supplies superstore. With more than 4,500 products, DormCo carries college necessities such as twin XL bedding, furniture for dorms, trunks and more. DormCo also offers a range of unique, useful, and even downright fun supplies for college that you won’t find in stores. Visit DormCo.com for a one-stop shop that provides everything needed to make dorm life more comfortable and convenient.