College is a time for students to redefine themselves, not only by the way they think and behave, but also by how they define their space. Thankfully, it is absolutely possible to set your college-age kids up in a homey, expressive dorm room, without breaking the bank!
- Check for No-No’s: Many schools restrict what they allow in their dorms, for fear of fire and electrical hazards. Toasters, coffee pots, candles, and even certain lamps are banned. Check, before your child gets cited and your purchase goes to waste.
- The Bare Necessities: Make a list. This is a good time to remind your child about the right-of-passage that is frugal living in college. Have a conversation about what is a necessity, and what the non-necessary items will cost.
- Multi-Purpose Items: Stores like Ikea and Target offer many fun furniture pieces that double as storage space! Pick an ottoman where you can store your books or a shelving unit where you can also hang clothes on the side.
- Look to Others Before You: Whether you’re researching on Craigslist or asking family members, chances are you’ll find someone trying to sell or even give away college-specific items like mini-fridges and futons. Many of them have seen less than four years of use.
- Coordinate: No need to have three mini-fridges in the room. Communicate with roommates ahead of time, so you can split costs and avoid overspending.
You can also help your college student get creative by setting them up with sheets of colorful cloth and thrift store posters to give their décor extra, affordable flair!