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Protecting Your College Belongings On A Budget

If you’ve spent much time traveling with your parents, you’ve probably heard them talk about the first apartment they lived in, or the first dog they owned or that telemarketing job your mom had for two months. It might be strange to imagine your parents living in cheap housing, working trivial jobs and scraping by. But when you’re a 20-something, that’s part of life.

As a college student, you may not think you have much in the way of valuable possessions. But take a look around – you probably have some things you couldn’t live without. You have a computer you need for class. You have a cell phone, probably a television, maybe even a gaming system you keep around for much needed study breaks. All in all, your stuff may be worth more than you think. While in college it’s important to protect the valuables that you have and also learn to budget for valuables you’ll want in the near future.

The Dorm

You live in a dorm and so do a thousand other students. You don’t steal computers, but that doesn’t mean everyone else shares your values.  There are several common-sense things you can do to make sure your stuff is safe, including locking your dorm room door, never leaving your backpack unattended and never allowing people to be in your room unattended.

But what if a tornado or violent storm hits your dorm? Most schools won’t be liable for damage to your clothes, computers, or iPods, even from natural causes. How are you protected, then? Personal property insurance is a great way to attach insured value to your possessions despite weather or personal theft.

The Apartment

Dorms may feel inherently safer than apartments, simply because they’re on school property and a resident adviser is patrolling the hallways looking for suspicious activity. But when you move to an off-campus apartment, you may be sharing a building with people who you never see, or with mischievous children or clumsy smokers that increase the odds of your building burning down.

Renters insurance is essential, if you want to protect your belongings. Imagine how difficult it would be to replace everything you own – given the cost of textbooks, you might be in a world of hurt without renters insurance.

The Future

If parents are covering the cost of your dorm fees or renters insurance, don’t simply say thank you. Go the extra mile to learn what those expenses are. If you have a budget separate from your parents, make sure that you understand how your budget fits into all your overall expenses, so you have a true understanding of what your cost of living currently is. Look ahead at what expenses you’ll have upon graduation when you take over the expenses your parents are currently covering. Do you want to eventually own a home? Know what costs are associated with it. Just as with an apartment, you’ll need insurance coverage for your home as well. Utilities and taxes are other expenses to consider. If you have a firm grasp on your what kind of financial future you’d like, you can begin to plan for it in college. It may also help you grasp the importance of protecting your belongings as you accrue them. It may even influence what area of study you choose.

Make financial responsibility part of your of college experience. Even if you’re receiving much needed assistance from your parents, you can and should be part of the financial decision making process. Seeing the big picture now will make for a brighter future.

About The Author:

Today’s guest article is provided by Lindsey Harper Mac. She is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area that specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

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