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Saving Money for a University Move

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Students studying at a university usually do not have a lot of money. Unfortunately, moving takes money--whether you're moving to a dorm for the first time, changing dorms between semesters, heading home for winter break, or upgrading from a dorm to off-campus housing.

Here are some tips for students to save money for their moves.

Keeping your move cheap

The most direct way to save money on your move is to keep the move cheap. Remember to include the expenses of furnishing and renting your home when considering the total cost of the move.
  • Add as many roommates as allowed. Roommates will save you money in a few ways. They can bring their own shared items so you don't need to buy, pack, or move them yourself. They will also split rent with you once you're moved into your dorm or apartment.
  • Only pack what you need for the semester. A lighter load saves moving and/or shipping costs, so don't bring useless stuff. This is especially true if you're moving to a dorm that you'll only live in for a few months. Avoid packing food and only pack clothes that are in season if you can go back home and get more as the seasons change.
  • Know what furniture and appliances are provided in the dorm or apartment. You don't want to buy or pack redundant large items.
  • Use recycled packing material. Avoid buying packing materials from the moving company since they usually charge premium prices.
  • Do what you can yourself. A DIY move will usually be cheaper than hiring movers. Just make sure you are moved in and out in time because deadlines are strict. Ask friends and family members to help move your things. If you can't make it in time, then you do need to hire movers.
  • If you hire a mover, find a good one at a good price. Compare quotes from multiple companies and get the best deal for your move. Just make sure the price isn't too good to be true by researching a company's background before committing.

Ways to save money during university life

Keeping the move cheap isn't the only way to save money for the move.
  • Wait a few classes before buying books for a course. Despite what the syllabus says, you sometimes do not need to purchase all the recommended books for a class. University books can be a huge expense and if it turns out one book is not really necessary, it can save you a considerable amount of money.
  • Don't overestimate what you'll need when buying a meal plan from your school. Most students rarely get three meals from the dining hall in one day. You'll skip a few breakfasts, make your own food, or eat out somewhere else more than you think while you rack up saved meals that you already paid for. If you already bought a hefty meal plan, you should avoid wasting money on food from those other places.
  • Don't be too proud to get help from your parents. I know, going to school is all about learning to be independent and self-sufficient, but you're pre-career with little time for anything other than a part time job. Until you graduate, nobody can really expect you to be self sufficient. If you're short on rent, food, or moving money, let your parents help.
  • Sell back last semester's books. Most school stores make this quite easy. If a book is deemed too damaged or worthless due to a new edition, consider selling it online or personally to a newer student at a discounted price.
If you keep your relocation and your university life smart, practical, and economical, you should be able to have enough money saved for your various school-related moves. Maybe then you can stop worrying about money and start worrying about your grades.

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on November 3, 2014 - Moving Expert
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