Home > Resources > Campus Life > Money Management > Apartment Penny Pinching

Apartment Penny-Pinching

After one or two years of living in the dorms, most students decide that it’s time to move on. The idea of sharing one room and dealing with a cocky floor RA gets old quickly. Surprisingly, you can save hundreds by moving out. You don’t even have to live off of ramen and powdered milk to do it. The average college dorm will cost each person $690 a month while the average 2 bedroom apartment will cost $403. For a 3 bedroom apartment, the average drops to $375. This price takes into account rent, utilities, and a basic cable/internet package. Oh yes, and a separate room for each person. Here are some money-saving tips that will help you make the most out of your move.


  • Buy in bulk
  • Stock up on non perishables
  • Buy staple foods that can be used for numerous meals e.g. chicken, cheese, bread, fruits and vegetables
  • Limit the number of times you eat out
  • When you do go out, check school newspapers for daily food specials


  • When heating the apartment, close off rooms that are not in use. The less space there is to heat, the less money you have to dish out
  • Wait until your hamper is full before using the washing machine. One big load costs less than multiple small ones. This also applies to dishwashers
  • Invest in a good fan to minimize air conditioning costs

Electronics and Technology

  • If you decide to purchase a computer, skip the laptop, and go for the less expensive PC. Most companies also offer special deals for students; ask around before splurging
  • Purchase cable and internet as one package, the basic one
  • If you already have a cell phone, skip the at-home phone line

The Little Things

  • Don’t be a decorating diva. Use plastic containers and closet storage racks to avoid furniture purchases
  • Place your desk near a bedroom window to minimize lamp usage. Natural light is better for you anyway
  • Avoid frequent car usage. If you and your car are bound at the hip, at least find an apartment close to campus
  • Buy generic items. Most of these are just as good. This applies to food, cleaning supplies, and kitchen supplies (garbage bags, paper towels etc)
Any money that you can save as a student will make your post-graduate years that much easier. My professor gave me a piece of advice that still seems to apply. "You can live like a student now or live like a student later."

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Video Gaming: The Up-And-Coming Collegiate Sport

October 8, 2015

by Susan Dutca

This past Saturday at 9 a.m., players arrived at the University of Cincinnati's basketball arena for a two-day tournament hosted by the UC's League of...Legends? Yes: The university now considers League of Legends an official club sport, just like soccer or rugby. With 14,000 people watching the tournament online, the event became one of the largest collegiate e-sports events with participants [...]

Should Political Correctness Trump Personal Opinion?

October 6, 2015

by Susan Dutca

Last week, a Mount Holyoke College professor allegedly went around his class trying to guess what racial slurs minority students might have been called in their lifetime. Students claimed the exercise was a form of racial discrimination. In this day and age, we are more politically correct than ever before. College students now think twice before raising their hands to offer an opinion on [...]

How to Not Lose It with Group Projects

October 5, 2015

by Erica Lewis

Oh, yes, group projects. When it comes to group projects, you either love 'em or hate 'em. There's really no in-between. So how do you keep your cool when you can't stand your partners or the project itself? Divide the work evenly. Don't let one person do all the work and then have the other names attached to the project. Although the load may be carried more heavily by one [...]

Follow Us:

facebook twitter rss feed