Saturday, June 6, 2009

Good Cents for College Students

Our son M recently graduated from college, returning immediately as a graduate assistant. With this transition came a move from the dorm into an apartment near campus, which he's sharing with J, a fellow new coach. J plans to stick around longer than M, so J rented the apartment; M has a bedroom and bathroom, which is located in the hall and also houses the washer/dryer. Fun. 

As we are all struggling to save money, M offered to bring a card table and 4 folding chairs for the kitchen because M is easy to satisfy, but J insisted he wanted to get something 'nice.' They're still waiting, as J wants not only 'nice' but NEW, and NEW costs money.

When M came home for a weekend visit, he and I hit Goodwill in the neighboring county (we don't have one in our own). It was a productive trip in the way of kitchenware, as was the trip to Big Lots. He was happy with the new treasures because he could at least fix food even if he didn't have a place to eat it. We procured a dresser from our local Freecycle (more about that below), and he found a used washer and dryer through Craigslist.

Meanwhile, daughter K moved into a little rent house with her best friend from school. It's an old house, so K feels quite at home (we've been in an old farmhouse for 13+ years) and doesn't want anything new, either. The house was mostly furnished, but there were some things missing - a dresser (found one at a thrift store for $30) and some kitchen stuff. She happily took furniture stored in my mother's basement and items that long ago would have been headed for the local thrift shop.

M lives in a small community, while K is only 20 minutes away in a nice-size town which boasts Goodwill, Salvation Army, and a Freecycle group, for starters (i.e., both can benefit). If you've never heard of Freecycle, it's well worth an investigation! In a nutshell, it is a community of folks who want to get rid of items for FREE. They can be left over from a yard sale, found in a closet, too big to haul to the dump, even in need of repair, if there's a heads-up. They just must be free. The person who gets the items must pick up, so it's a wonderful way to clean out (hint, hint to self). In addition, members can request items to see if anyone might have what they need lying around. New members are required by at least some groups to post an offer before they post a request, but if they'd like an item 'offered' before they request, they can reply. 

One positive effect of this sagging economy will surely be an increased resourcefulness, and I think our kids are in relatively great shape. They have heads on their shoulders and are trying to be frugal from the beginning, which is a good thing.

And while we hope to share some good tips with you, we're also eager to hear some from you!


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