The kids are heading back to school and it’s time to prepare them for a new year. Setting the bed times back, shopping for school supplies and if you have a new College student, you will also be helping them stock up for their newly acquired dorm room.
For most students, this is a time to shop until you drop! The school supplies list for a college student is a little more involved, complex and can be a stressful situation for both parents and child. It’s so easy to just shop and shop, and your child’s new college lifestyle can really add up!
To help keep things manageable and less stressful, I created a list of some things to keep in mind while shopping for your college student this Fall.
1. Stick to a list – Shopping for a dorm room is like shopping for a new home. If you set out to buy things beyond the “Essentials”, your credit card statement is going to soar through the roof. Go over a list of things that your child uses every day at home, these things can be added to your child’s shopping list. Avoid gimmick advertising that will tell you how badly your college student will need an item while away from home.
2. Hand me downs – Lots of people are upgrading their furniture and getting rid of the old. Same with your regular list of school supplies, grab what you can that is already laying around and take it with you to school. You really don’t need to buy everything “brand new”, save money on things that you can bring with you from home.
3. Shop discount stores and websites – The big box stores are going to do everything they can to get you to shop with them. If you can do things like shop on Craigslist, eBay, or even in stores like T.J. Maxx, money can be saved. This is a tool that really should be carried with you through life, not just college. So much money can be saved when stores offer great prices on “last season” items.
Shopping for College is an exciting time, it’s a new life that will present new opportunities. Hopefully these tips will help you save a lot of money so you can put it towards the more expensive things that college will bring.