Just a few short months away from becoming a college freshman, there’s a lot to think about when shopping for college. There are supplies, books, gear and then everything for your dorm room. Whether you’re saving up your money from a summer job, got a ton of cash for graduation or plan on getting some help from the parents, a shopping spree is in order.
First off, you have to have the basics for studying. Books will come once you start classes, but computers and devices are a definite must-have. Laptops are one way to study on the go, but with laptop theft sky high on college campuses, you may want to consider going a different route. Getting a desktop to use in your dorm room is a safe option. Then, for on the go, consider a tablet. You can easily download software and put a passcode and tracker on to prevent theft. Plus, they are much lighter to carry around, and can digitally share notes with classmates with just a swipe.
Depending on how your dorm is set up, clear plastic bins are usually a must-have for most college students because you can stack them under your bed to store clothes and essentials. They also help the moving process by cutting down the number of boxes needing to be packed and moved.
You also may want to consider stocking up on a few towels and two sets of sheets. This means you don’t have to do laundry as often, and if you lose a pillowcase or washcloth to the laundry room, you have a backup.
Things you don’t need are a set of tableware or anything you will have to clean after you microwave it. Not the most “green” way to go, but paper plates are good to have on hand as you probably won’t be doing dishes nightly in your community bathroom. Unless you are diligent and will do the dishes right away, go for the disposable.
You also don’t need the most fabulous wardrobe and accessories. With community washers and friends borrowing clothes, you never really know what’s going to happen. Shop at stores that are good quality but relatively inexpensive. Don’t bring your jewels to your dorm room since they are easy to lose or can easily be stolen. Keep valuables at home, and stick to budget-friendly finds that you won’t miss too much if they go missing. Furthermore, expensive items are an easy way to rack up debt and spend your hard-earned savings fast.
Choosing a bike over a car can save college students thousands of dollars. Most college campuses are bike friendly and save students the expense and hassle of parking passes. But the one thing you have to remember is that bikes are one of the most commonly stolen items on college campuses. This means you should invest in a good lock and not in a top-tier bike because, well, it more likely than not will get stolen.