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May 31 2015
by Kiara Joseph

How to Save Money When Shopping for Your Dorm

By Kiara Joseph - May 31 2015

By this time, you probably know where you will be going to college in the fall. You have sent in your tuition and housing deposits and you are all set. You know how much your family will be spending per year to send you to school. And if you are like most people, you will be trying to save as much money as you can because, as you already know, college is expensive.

The costs of college, however, go beyond room and board, tuition and textbooks. You could find yourself in a position where you are spending a lot of money on furnishing your dorms, but with a few tips, you can save money and have your dorm looking like it came straight from a Pinterest board!

1. Hit up garage and yard sales.

Summer is here and that means that a lot of people will be cleaning out their garages and yards to prepare for backyard fun. Over the summer, take some time to explore your neighborhood to find some low cost items for your dorm.

2. Search Ebay.

Ebay is a classic way to get quality items at a low cost and with college graduates looking to get rid of their old stuff, you can run into some pretty neat and useful items. You can bid for items like desk lamps and shower caddies starting at as little as $2. Department store items could cost more than twice that amount so make sure to get your Ebay bids in early!

3. When in doubt, DIY!

Rather than spending money on brand new items, you can be crafty and use what you already have or you can buy low cost items to create whatever you need. Looking for a pen and pencil holder? Don’t buy one that is already made. Take an old mug and use acrylic paints to reinvent it into something for your dorm. Looking to hang photos in your room? Don’t spend money on a board or frame for your photos. Head over to a craft store and get some clothespins to hang on some glow in the dark string (also on Ebay).

4. Set a budget!

It is easy to lose track of how much you are spending. Prior to doing any shopping, set a budget on how much you can spend. This will help you prioritize important items and perhaps leave some spending money for you during the school year.

Lead Image Credit: Matt Nazario-Miller

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Kiara Joseph - Northwestern University

Kiara Joseph is a freshman at Northwestern University majoring in journalism. In high school, her work was published in several anthologies. She is an eccentric writer, loves comedy, and is an avid football, baseball, and hockey fan. Follow her on Twitter @heyitskiaraj.

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