For college students, finding ways to save money while learning can be very important. Though dorm life can help reduce cost, it’s got its downsides and there are still times of year when you’ll need to find a place to go. If you decide you want to find a place nearby, rather than head back to the parents, here are a few moving tips you can use to save money on rentals as a college student.
- Always make and keep to a budget. It doesn’t matter whether you have income from a job, a spend stipend, or help from your parents, keeping to a budget is important. Not only that, it can help you when you transition from college to living and working on your own.
- Try to build an emergency fund. Set aside a set amount of money each month. Even a little put away each week can help when you’re in a pinch later on.
- Go with roommates. This is the simplest way to cut your costs while living in an apartment or house during your college years. Note, we said simplest, not easiest. Be sure you screen your potential roommates very well and don’t go with a place that is out of your price range to the point you have to have people over crowding things.
How to find an apartment as a college student
- Search online to find what you need. Sure, you can still find places in the paper, but the safest bet is to use Craigslist, Trulia, or Zillow and there are so many tools out there that can help make it easier.
- Avoid putting things off until the last minute. If you know you need to relocate, do so well ahead of time so that you have plenty of options.
- Make a list of everything. From the things you need to do, to the things you need to pack and move. Get it all down on paper so that you know what needs to go where.
- Pack well, and find safe places to store your things. If you have a limited budget, you know that you may have to keep what you have for a while. This makes careful packing really important.
- Know the area. You need to first decide how far you want to be from campus. The fastest or most gas saving routes to school are best, if you have a car, but pay attention to public transit, also. Being close to places to eat is also a plus.
When you do find a place, make sure that you get everything in writing so you both understand what your rights are, but also what your responsibilities are. Whether it is a month to month lease or a full term lease, knowing this will help you keep things going smoothly.