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The summer has flown by and is quickly coming to an end. This is a tough time for some parents as they say goodbye to their children and send them off to college. We all know that college can take quiet a bite out of your finances. Don’t be tricked into thinking you need to buy a thousand things for your future college student to have. This is similar to the moment when they first came in the world… think of all the baby gear folks said you needed and you never used once…
Parents think that their child needs the newest edition of every book assigned in their classes. Most of the time this is unnecessary and can cause you to spend a lot more money than needed. Renting your books from an online vendor such as chegg.com or amazon.com can save a lot. Sometimes a book is not needed or can be found in the university’s library. After a couple classes it will become obvious if you need the book or not and professors usually give about a week grace period for students to get their books, so sometimes waiting it out is the best idea.
Universities love to charge you crazy amounts of money just to keep a car parked on campus for your college student to have. Living on campus eliminates the need for a car. Everything is within walking distance and if they need a ride there are plenty of upper classmen to help out!
As a college student you will definitely need to print a lot of papers but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money on a fancy printer. There are plenty of places to print on campus, ranging from the library to various buildings. Some schools within the college offer free printing! If you still want to buy a printer check out this awesome printer here.
Big Meal Plan
If your college-bound kid is living on campus then they more than likely will need a meal plan (most colleges make meal plans mandatory). Parents normally over-compensate and buy way more meals than their child actually needs. I had plenty of friends in college who would be giving away meals near the end of the semester to get rid of all their meals (great for me but not their parent’s wallet). A small meal plan is great idea and gives your student more flexibility to eat what they want instead of being chained to a not so great dining hall.
As much as your kid protests, their college dorm room doesn’t need a TV. The point of college is to get out and meet new people and learn new things. Getting cable to run into the dorm rooms is also another big cost that colleges love to charge you with. I guarantee that your child will find plenty of friends with TVs in their room as well. Also, laptops can stream most any TV show so you can catch up with your shows that way.
A credit card is not a good idea for a future college student. It is incredibly easy to accidentally end up in a lot of debt. While your child will need money there a lot of better alternatives. A prepaid card with a set amount is great for not losing their identity or ending up in debtors prison. You can’t spend money you don’t have and it is easy to set a limit on an account so you know how much is being spent.
Brand New Bedding
A dorm room is going to get messy, trust me. There is no need to go out and spend a lot of money on nice new comforters and sheets. The linens they have been using since high school will suffice during their freshman year.
Note: If your college has Twin XL beds, then they will probably need new sheets. Target has them for great prices.
An Ironing Board
This is an unnecessary item that I see a lot of parents buying for their kids. No matter how big of an advocate your child is for ironing as soon as that 8 am class rolls around they will have no energy to iron their clothes for the day. It also takes up valuable space in an already small dorm room.
iPads, Kindles, and any other kind of high tech tablet are all the rage right now. You might think your student needs one but they are an extra, unneeded cost. A laptop will fit the needs of any college student perfectly. If they already have one… this can possibly be a way to save on text books though, check into the cheaper digital versions.
We as parents love to overdo things. Sending our kids off with a ton of rubber maid storage units or new bookshelves isn’t the best idea. Most dorms come with desks and shelves already so adding all these extra containers can really get in the way. Wait until after your child is completely moved in before buying extra storage units for the room. A dorm room is small and the space is valuable!