Moving Off-Campus? Don't Waste Your Money on These Things!

If you're looking forward to moving off-campus, but are slightly worried about the cost of purchasing new things for your new life and living space, don't fret. These tips will help you to save money on your stuff. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

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Wasting Money on Things for Your New Living Space

Are you ready to move off campus into that new apartment you just landed? You might find it tempting to run out and buy all new furniture and appliances, but that's probably not the best way to spend your money.

Getting your very first apartment is a huge step in your adult life. And while you'll fill your house with plenty of memories, you first need to fill it with furniture. Now that you're going to live like an adult and not a student, you may find yourself wanting to buy brand new everything. But, buying brand new can be a good way to lose a lot of money, especially when there are easier and cheaper ways to furnish and decorate your new abode.

Hand-Me-Downs

It may be your first apartment, but others you know have surely made this leap before you. Check with relatives and friends to see if they have any furniture lying around they're willing to donate to your worthy cause. Even some of your friends in the dorms may have furniture they no longer need.

Other than hitting up family and friends, you can ask the public at large for their stuff. Put up fliers on campus asking for excess furniture or appliances and you might get at least a few items. The best time to do this is at the end of the semester, since that's when students are moving out of the dorms and will have stuff to get rid of.

Online Bargain Shopping

You'd be surprised how much quality furniture you can find online, not to mention household appliances. Craigslist has a section devoted to free stuff, but you can also purchase secondhand goods for reasonable prices. If you like something and don't want to pay full price, don't be afraid to bargain.

Freecycle.org is a popular place to look for free items. The idea is that people post items they want to give away (free of charge, of course!), and those who are interested respond to the posting. You can even post a 'wanted' ad to ask for needed items. You might be surprised at what people have laying around ready to give to anyone who asks.

Using eBay is another way to bargain shop. You can find like-new items for rock-bottom prices, or even for nothing at all.

Beware of free items, however. That chair might look lovely online, but you won't know if it has stains or a strong smell until you see it in person. Because of this risk, don't agree to take an item until you've had a chance to check it out.

And, as always, safety first. When buying or taking items from someone on Craigslist or freecycle.org, arrange to meet somewhere public, like a coffee shop or the parking lot of a busy shopping center. If a meeting on neutral ground is not possible and you will be going to a stranger's house, be sure to bring a friend along. You are going to need someone's help, anyway!

Thrift Stores and Consignment Shops

Many a deal can be had at thrift stores and consignment shops. See if your local thrift stores have scheduled bargain days such as 50% off every first Saturday. Thrift stores are ideal for household items, like pots, pans, dishes and silverware. Consignment shops often sell higher-end items but for very good prices. These stores are good places to find furniture or area rugs.

It should be noted that finding your desired items at thrift and consignment shops can be touch-and-go. Sometimes you will find exactly what you want, and other times you won't find anything at all. Make it a habit to drop by your local shops regularly and you might happen upon that perfect item you've been looking for. Alternatively, you can thrift shop online at Goodwill in the comfort of your home!

Low-Cost Furniture and Home Goods Stores

With the money you have to buy new items, you can stretch your dollars at discount stores. Places like Target, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and even Ross Dress for Less have lots of items to furnish or decorate your house for reasonable prices. Look for sales during the holidays and be sure to check the clearance racks - there are some basement bargains to be had!

Try not to turn your nose up at used and low-cost items - you're likely to find some great pieces that fit with your new place. Even better, you can use the money you're saving for that one splurge item you really want - perhaps a brand new bed or a super comfy couch.

Want to save money even after you're all moved in? Check out some skills that can help college students save money.

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