Now that we have our Ultimate College Packing List let’s talk about how you are going to possibly get all of that. At first it looks very intimidating. You’re reading all of these things and I’m sure either you or your parents are thinking about how expensive all of this stuff is going to be. In reality most of this stuff you can get for pretty cheap at places like the Dollar Store, Walmart, 5 Below, Amazon, TJ Maxx, and other thrift stores.
Personally, that is what I suggest doing. There is no reason to spend thousands of dollars on things for your dorm room when you can get create a nice room affordably. When you’re looking through the master list be sure to really think about what YOU will need. By no means am I telling you that you NEED every single item on that list. I created this list by compiling any and everything any single person might bring with them. My own personal list was half that size because I didn’t need some of those things nor did I want some of them in my room.
How do I know what to get?
Some of you may not be fortunate enough to have your parents buying everything for you. Some of you may be those parents buying their child everything for college, which is fine, this post can pertain to the both of you.
Take a look at my master list and copy down everything that you feel you’ll need to purchase including the things you already have but just need to pack up. Remember that the master list is a PACKING list, not a BUYING list. Most of those things you will already have at home. Still write those items down so you have a packing list built into your buying list.
What I did was write down everything I may need in my dorm-I will use a portion of my master list to work with and show you:
Now take that list and highlight the things you already have. The remaining things not highlighted are the things you will need to purchase. This allows you to have a visual representation of things you need to get so nothing is forgotten.
But how am I going to afford all of this?
After you’ve separated the items by what you already have and what you need to still get go to your Cash Envelope System with or without cash and add a category/tab for COLLEGE. By doing this you have added an extra amount of money to be saved up every paycheck that goes directly to your college purchases. This eliminates the stress of having to go out and purchase supplies all in one shopping day while spending A LOT of money at one time. We don’t want you to do that because as parents you have a lot of other expenses to take care of and you can’t just take $500 out of one paycheck and go spend it on dorm stuff.
It is easier and less stressful to put back let’s say $40 a paycheck and go spend that on a couple items and then you’re done shopping once that $40 is gone. Next paycheck you can go spend another $40. You will accumulate items throughout the summer with this method instead of all at once.
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Once you’ve picked up all of the little items you can start putting pack bigger amounts such as $50 or $60 a paycheck to save up to buy that expensive item such as the bedding or additional seating in the dorm.
If you start early on putting back small amounts every paycheck and purchasing items with that amount you will acquire all the items you need come August. In my opinion this way is much more fun because then you get to go shopping every other week, and who doesn’t love that? Take your friends with you and have them help you pick decorations. Make shopping fun!
I believe this method will help with the stress of college shopping for the parents and for the students. So if you haven’t already go make yourself a Cash Envelope System and get yourself budgeted for college shopping!