College students on bench

What do college kids need these days? 

Years ago, it seemed as though one could bring some bedding from home, a couple of boxes and maybe a few tissues to get started with collegiate life. Flash forward to the present and parents could easily become overwhelmed by the new “needs” of today’s college-bound youth.

To put some at least some financial fears at rest, we’ve weeded out where to save and where to splurge on dorm room basics. With this in mind, you can start to focus on the other, more important stress about the college transition: how to let them go.

Where to save

  • Decor – Yes, there are images floating all over the internet of unbelievable dorm room makeovers that would make Joanna Gaines proud. However, you really don’t have to spend much money to make a dorm room personable and cozy. Our solutions: oversized posters, removable wall art (including wallpaper) and inexpensive bedding sets ( Target has nailed this) will do wonders in transforming a room.
  • Entertainment – Invest in Amazon Prime or Netflix and save hundreds on entertainment costs. Grab some inexpensive speakers and studying becomes even easier too.
  • Essentials – Start in your own home and see if there are extra dishes, towels, cleaning supplies, and storage items that can be packed. If not, scour discount stores such as Dollar Tree or Dollar General for discount pricing as on campus stores generally mark up significantly.

Where to splurge

  • Computer – It’s a big-ticket item and needed for far more than the dorm, but a new laptop or iPad could make a big difference in leaving the room to study or staying put and getting work done. This could save you money in the long run. Especially with a Netflix or Amazon Prime membership included.
  • Comfort items –  Buy the cute but inexpensive bedding, but be sure to splurge on a cozy blanket. Don’t forget slippers, a mattress topper, and a microwave for heating up leftovers. All of these make a dorm room feel more like home, which means your student can focus on the work that needs to be done there. After all, it’s pretty hard to concentrate when you feel homesick.
  • Trunk and padlock – While there is an element of excitement about going off to a new college with a new dorm to meet new people, there’s also an element of anxiety. Set your student’s mind at ease by purchasing a trunk and padlock so they can keep certain items locked up.

What do you think? Are we missing some essentials here or have we covered the highlights? What do you think is the most important college item to save on or to splurge on? Share you answer with us on Twitter or Facebook!