October 19, 2012

college on a budget

College is expensive. Furnishing a dorm room and getting school supplies only adds to the cost. Even though college costs a ton, there are ways to save money! 

First of all, you don't need anything brand new. It's just a dorm room that you'll be in for a few years. It's a waste of money to buy a brand new TV, futon, fridge, microwave, etc. Ask around! Ask family or friends if anyone has something they can sell you. If you have older cousins or siblings that are past college, chances are they still have some of their stuff that they can sell/give you. I was able to get a microwave and mini fridge for my room this way.

Check out refurbished products. Lots of places like Best Buy and Apple sell refurbished electronics. This means that they are previously owned products that have been restored to a new condition. These are great because they are sold at a discounted price! About 7 years ago I bought a refurbished iPod for a really great price and it still works perfectly to this day.  I definitely recommend checking out refurbished products! I was able to get a TV for my room this way. 

Visit online sites like Freecycle. The Freecycle Network is great for college students because everything is FREE! You can customize the network to your specific location and people in your area will post things they are giving away for free. Totally free. They want to get rid of it, and all you have to do is go pick it up. In the past we've gotten things like a trampoline, lounge chair, hangers, an ottoman, and a futon frame this way. Check it out! 

Apple's education deals. Most people are already aware of this one, but i'll mention it anyway. In late spring/early summer, Apple announces their special deal for students purchasing their computers or laptops. The deal used to be that students got a free iPod with a computer purchase, but now they get a $100 app/itunes gift card with purchase. Not as good, but it's still a deal. The special also includes a small discount on the computer and a rebate for a printer. I took advantage of this deal when I bought my laptop for school. 

My last money saving tip is for anyone looking for carpet or a rug in their dorm room. Go to Home Depot and find their carpet section. Walk past all the fancy carpet samples until you find their giant rolls of carpet. They have a ton of options for really cheap prices. It can also be cut to whatever size needed. The dorm carpet that my school supplies to students would have cost me $145. I was able to get full carpeting in my dorm for just $30 from Home Depot. Definitely another good place to look!

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