Many of our patients are headed off to college this year, some of them freshman. Prepping for your first year living away from home can be not only daunting, but expensive.
In order to help you pack with even bigger excitement and not spend too much money (college tuition is expensive enough), we’ve made this list of what you can buy now versus what can be bought later.
The average household spends over $800 on supplies to move a teen to college. Spreading the expenses over a couple months can make it a little more financially feasible. Read on to discover what exactly should be bought before you leave, and what can be purchased once you hit your destination!
Typical school supplies: BUY NOW
Unlike elementary school where you get a list, most students by the time the hit college know exactly what works best for them when it comes to preparing for class. Lots of big box stores have back-to-school sales, so stock up on small items like note cards, folders and pens now.
Laptops and other gadgets: BUY LATER
Wait until the last minute to buy technology products since sales at large store like Best Buy happen around Labor Day. Also, Apple offers deals for students buying laptops around that time, so make sure to check out their back-to-school deals. Many times, the computer or iPad come with free Beats headphones or credit to the Apple store. Don’t forget to look for refurbished products as well! These products have been gently used and can save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
Dorm decoration: BUY LATER
Don’t buy any accessories or decorations until you see the space you’ll be in. While you might be able to get the decision to your room assignment finalized ahead of time, there could be changes or issues you didn’t know about until you get there. This includes wall art, small appliances, bookshelves, and even ironing boards (if your student is up for that).
Bedding and linens: BUY NOW
Stores will be having back-to-school sales with twin bedding and towels on sale around this time. Make sure you get the correct length for your bed (many are extra long) before purchasing sheets. When purchasing bedding, take into account if your dorm has air conditioning. While in Texas it would be considered blasphemous not to, many schools on the West Coast and in the North East don’t. Also, think about extras like bed risers and under-bed storage boxes. Get those now so you can quickly organize your room after moving in!
Books: BUY LATER
Returning students may be able to log into their Blackboard accounts to see if books list and syllabi have been posted. But resist the temptation to buy all the books right now. Many professors will change the list or only use a small sample of books on the list. Save money by talking to upperclassman who have taken the class to see if all the books were necessary.
Booking last–minute appointments: DO IT NOW
If you are one of our graduating seniors then call our office today for an exam before you leave for college. And since getting home during the week is hard (if even possible where you’re going), it’s good to get in a rotation that allows for appointments during school holidays.
If you are headed off to school, let us know where on our Facebook page and we will be cheering you on from back home!
Also published on Medium.