Your entire summer has been boiling down to this: College. Whether you’re dreading it or looking forward to it, one thing you need to start thinking about are your expenses. Luckily, we have prepared some suggestions for you to make your back to school shopping a little less painful on your wallet.
Take advantage of your student discount.
A lot of stores, including Apple, give discounts for students. In fact, Apple offers up to $100 off laptops and $20 off iPads. Other stores offer similar discounts on their laptops. You just have to be willing to search around.
Compare prices for textbooks.
Your school might try to convince you that their bookstore has the best prices around, but this might not necessarily be the case. Several websites such as Amazon, Chegg and Slugbooks have textbooks for a fraction of the cost. Renting your books might be a better idea as well.
Shop for off-brands.
While those Lily Pulitzer and Vera Bradley planners may be cute, they can cost you up to $30. Target and Walmart have perfectly good planners for about $10 and they even do a good job of offering cute colors and themes if you shop early. The same concept applies to pens, pencils and notebooks. Walmart typically sells 70 cent notebooks right before school starts.
Hold off on buying certain supplies.
Although it’s tempting to buy all those colored pens, notecards, notebooks, etc… it might be better to wait until you get the syllabi from your professors to see what you actually need. It’s a waste of money to buy all materials and have them sit in your desk.
Don’t buy bedding or furniture from your campus mart…
Unless you’ve done your homework. They will likely claim that their bedding and furniture is guaranteed to fit your bed and dorm room. However, that does not mean that stuff you find at major retailers or garage sales won’t fit. Just make sure to carefully read the labels before you buy and know the dimensions you will need.
Remember less is more.
You might be tempted to think you need a full wardrobe of clothes and every creature comfort of home. But if you’re making the most of your time in college, you are spending very little time in your dorm room not the least of which is because it is so small. And speaking of small, you will have next to no closet room so leave take the basics with you and leave plenty of room for all the t-shirts you will be issued.
If you want more advice or would like help setting up a budget before school starts, don’t hesitate to reach out to Credit Advisors Foundation and we can set up a plan.