AZ asks: Megan Moveaway about Dorm Shopping

Dorm roomHaving a senior in high school can be a stressful situation. You thought both your kid’s and your stresses were over after you finally sent in that confirmation deposit. However there’s one more thing you have to worry about; dorm shopping.

“Meghan Moveaway” is a recent high school gradute who interned  with me in the Spring.  She has been learning the ins and outs of investing and finance and will be using her  knowledge when the time comes for her to go dorm shopping. Meghan is heading to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a few weeks.

AZ Asks: College is new and exciting, should everything that you take to college with you for your dorm be new and exciting too?

When I first started to think about living on my own I started to worry that I owned none of the things I would need for next year. Thankfully after my panic subsided I realized that I have a lot of older friends who have lived in dorms in the past. After talking to them for a little I learned that a majority of them bought an excessive amount of stuff that ended up cluttering their already small living space. After doing some research online I was shocked by how much money is needed to buy all the items that are recommended by my dorm for next year. Instead of buying everything new, I have asked many of my older friends to let me borrow things that they bought for their dorm that they no longer use. It might not be as exciting as buying things for yourself, but in the end you’ll make sure you are prepared and also you’ll have extra money to spend on the things you really need to buy.

AZ Asks: What have your parents done to help with your dorm shopping?

My parents are extremely supportive and have offered to help me 100% along the way but going away to college is a test of independence and I firmly believe that planning your dorm should be something you do yourself; don’t rely on your parents to do it for you. It’s important that you set up your own budget and know how much you are willing to spend and on what. Shopping for your dorm is a great practice round for planning your expenses next year.

AZ Asks: What role can your roommate play in helping you with your dorm?

Being a girl, my roommate and I coordinated everything for our dorm next year. We decided everything had to match and be perfect and did our dorm hunt around that, but helping plan the color scheme isn’t the only thing your roommate can help you on! By the time you start doing dorm shopping, even those who did random assignment for roommates should know who their roommate is. Getting in contact with them and knowing which items their planning on bringing next year can be a big help! Large items such as a microwave, TV, or even a mini-fridge can be split up between the two of you, that way you don’t end up spending money and having two of the same things in the dorm. It is extremely important that you talk to your roommate and get on the same page before you go out and buy!

AZ asks: Where are some places that I can find things for my dorm for cheap?

Like I said earlier asking old friends that have already been through the dorm stage of college can be extremely helpful but don’t be scared to venture out and look other places. Many mainstream retailers such as Target or Wal-Mart may have good deals on dorm items but don’t stick to those alone! The internet is an amazing place and finding bargains online is super easy. Ebay and Craigslist are just some of the sites that you can use to find things for your dorm next year. Also at the end of each school year many schools give students the option to donate items during move out date. Visiting your local Goodwill or Salvation Army after these times can lead to great deals on things you really need for your room! Also if your school does not already have a program like this set one up! You’ll get yourself great stuff for your dorm while also getting yourself known around campus!

“Meghan Moveaway” is not affiliated with Zuraw Financial Advisors, LLC.

About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™).If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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