College Budgeting: Making Smart Investments With Your Limited Bank Account


By Amanda Ferrara, Student at New York University

Choosing what to splurge on when shopping for college is never easy, but how do you decide which items are worthy of breaking the bank?

First, you should know that the key to choosing good investments while you are in college is to pick things that are 1) of good quality so they will last for years 2) something that you will actually use and appreciate often and 3) something that will continue to make your life easier, happier, etc.

To help you get started, here is my list of things that have proved to be worth the extra cash!

1. Any kitchen appliances like microwaves, toasters, coffee machines and blenders. Not only will you get a lot of use out of these for the next four years, but you can also think of it as an early purchase for your post-graduation apartment. Anything that can be used in college and go into your future home after graduation is an excellent investment!

2. A really warm winter coat. No matter where you attend school, there are bound to be a few months that are chillier than the others. Buy an appropriate coat for the colder months that you can use for a few years. Your coat should be from a brand that is known for their lasting quality, made of a fabric that can be easily cleaned and be a neutral color like black or grey so it doesn’t go out of style. Would you really want to wear a bright pink coat for the next four winters anyway?

3. A great computer. You probably already know that you will spend the majority of your college career with your laptop attached to you at your hip. If you are going to splurge on anything, definitely spend the extra cash on a high quality laptop. Having a lightweight, fast computer with tons of memory will prevent a lot of the stress and headaches that technology will often bring to busy students.

4. On that note, get a printer. Running to the library to print essays five minutes before class is always a hassle and just adds extra stress (especially in the rain and snow). Investing in a printer is wise because it will last way past college and will save you tons of time in the long run.

5. A really good pair of all-weather boots. Boots that can handle the rain, snow, sleet and mud are an excellent investment because you will certainly get a lot of use out of them. Find a pair of boots that can be worn through the mud at football games, through blizzards when paired with heavy socks and through the spring downpours.

6. Bedding. While extra-long twin mattresses are unlikely to make an appearance in your house past college, you will be spending a lot of time in one over the next few years. I suggest getting blankets and pillows that are comfortable and bed sheets that are of good quality so you do not risk pilling or color fading. Also, remember how many people slept in that bed before you? I suggest buying a really good mattress cover and mattress pad to prevent bed bugs and back pains!

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!