College dorm room expenses

booksJust when you think tuition and books are your financial trauma…along comes the dorm room set-up.

We are very grateful for the friends and family members who gave our son gifts to get started at college and to celebrate his high school graduation. A few great items were the new laptop-holding back-pack, a waterproof winter coat (for the child who has only been seen in “hoodies” for the last four years) and the collection of storage bins to organize the new digs. The monetary gifts were also a help to the financial education of this process. Once various checks were pooled, we reviewed with our son what he would need to purchase. I was very proud of his reaction. He decided that a laptop was not the item to save money on — but the one major item to invest in (his words!). We gave him a chunk toward it and then his aunt ordered his system through her employer to save about $400.

On the other side, the “stock-up” purchase of general supplies was a bargain hunt, as he did not care about labels or name brands (which at one time he would have, like for instance, when I was buying.) In all, he spent under $200 to cover all of his toiletries, dorm and desk supplies. We took care of bedding and linens and he also didn’t get picky on this.

And when drop-off day came, we saw we had made smart choices…six guys crammed into three sets of bunk beds in one not-very-big room did not offer opportunity for the slightest extras.

Just days before freshman move-in, we made the final decision on the student loan…with a catch. We want to go with Sallie Mae. Two factors are the good name and the cosigner removal option in the future. But since our son has enough to get well into the semester, my husband thought we should wait to initiate the loan since every month of interest will add on to his final pay-out. Therefore, we’ll have the paperwork ready and kick the loan in later this fall.


Tuition and Bills