Studying abroad in the United States is an exciting opportunity to learn and grow as a student, but there are also several responsibilities that come along with it. If you are living in an off-campus apartment, you will likely have to furnish the space and add other living necessities, all while sticking to a budget. Here are a few suggestions for creating a living space that feels comfortable and functional while saving money.
Often times, students can find the best deals when they shop online instead of at big-name stores. This is because many online stores offer promotions that you won’t find in local stores. In addition to saving money, shopping online can also save time if you need to buy several items at once. Items such as kitchen essentials (plates, bowls, glasses and utensils) can often be purchased in packages for one low price.
If you need a particular brand or product, an online search will often provide several options to choose from. Also, online shopping will usually provide a better variety of products, which gives you the freedom to pick which ones best fit your needs. This will also come in handy if you’re looking for apartment accessories that fit your style and personality.
Make it personal
Another way to save money as you decorate your apartment is by using items you already own. Adding a personal touch to your bedroom or main living area can make your space feel more comfortable, especially when they are items with sentimental value. As you decorate, include personal touches like photos that remind you of home to brighten up the room. You can also accomplish this feeling by hanging a flag from your home country on the wall! Filling your rooms with these accessories will create a “home away from home” for you and your guests, while also saving a little money.
If you are feeling creative, you can also save money by updating existing décor in your apartment. Taking on these “do it yourself” projects is a great way to bond with your roommates and have fun. If you have a lamp or desk that needs refreshing, try using spray paint to change the color. You can also grab a few paintbrushes and a canvas to create new artwork for your wall! Most of the items you’ll need for these projects can be found at your local arts and crafts store. Just put together a shopping list before going and keep your eyes open for any other items you may need!
Sometimes when you need to give your space a new look, repositioning the furniture is all you need to do. This will give your apartment a different feel without spending any money. Positioning your furniture close to the walls in your living room can open up the space and make the room more inviting. Also, if you want your room to feel more balanced and calm, you can position the furniture closer to the center of a room. While it may take some getting used to, changing the furniture arrangements in your apartment is an easy update that doesn’t cost a dime.
For many students, finding furniture is one of the most stressful parts of the process. Not only do you need to find quality, durable furniture, but you also need to get it at a good value. This is why furniture rental is a popular option among international students. CORT, the leading provider of furniture rental in the U.S., furnishes thousands of student apartments with everything from beds and sofas to housewares and electronics – all with affordable rental package options.
Before beginning to update your apartment, take the time to think about the big picture. How do you want your décor to look? What will you need to achieve your goals? Once you have the perfect setup in mind, keep these tips in mind and you’ll find ways to save money while creating the ideal atmosphere for your living space.
Margaret Schwartz is an experienced international traveler and Director of Marketing at CORT Furniture Rental, where she works directly with students and higher education institutions.