Guest Blog by Places4Students.com
The time has come to move out of your parent’s nest and head off to college or university. You’ve paid your apartment application fees, security deposits, utility deposits, plus first and last month’s rent; so all the major costs have been paid. But wait, you haven’t purchased any furniture yet!
After paying thousands in upfront costs to move out, you’re now tasked with the problem of coming up with hundreds, if not thousands, of more dollars to furnish your place. You could always take that dingy old furniture from your parent’s basement that was likely manufactured in the 1970’s and no longer has any support in the cushions; but let’s face facts – you want some furniture that is at least younger than you. Sadly, you don’t have enough disposable income to completely furnish a place, so what on earth can you do?
You’ve got a few options:
• Take the hand-me-down retro furniture that your parents have been trying to pawn off on you for the last few weeks.
• Pull a Macklemore and go bargain hunting at the thrift shop for used furniture that is likely just as old, if not older than your parent’s hand-me-downs.
• Use a portion of your student loans to buy expensive furniture from a local store, only to have no place to put it come the end of the school year.
• Save yourself the upfront costs and get some modern and sleek furniture by renting!
Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to be frugal and save money; but when it comes to furniture, you really don’t want to cheap out. This is why the best option for many college students is renting furniture. The concept of renting furniture for student housing is fairly new, but it’s emerging as one of the most favorable ways for students to furnish their places.
There are several benefits of renting furniture:
1. It’s cost effective, as you will pay a fraction of buying new furniture.
2. There are no concerns about not having somewhere to store the furniture, either before you move in or when you move out, come the end of the year.
3. It’s a one-stop and hassle free shopping experience. Renting furniture is often done in a package deal where they provide everything needed, without shopping around in several different stores.
4. Avoid the stress of having to pick up or move furniture. It can be delivered right to your door and set up as well!
The most important benefit is the cost-effectiveness, in our opinion. Students often have a strict budget and fixed income, which can make it extremely difficult to come up with the money to purchase furniture outright. Here’s a cost comparison to show the differences between buying and renting furniture.
Let’s use CORT’s ‘The Necessities’ package, which is $119/month (plus applicable fees); in comparison to buying furniture from a major national retailer. This package includes the following: sofa, chair, cocktail table, end table, table lamp, headboard, mattress set, dresser with mirror, nightstand, table lamp, dining table and 4 dining chairs. This example will assume a 12-month lease.
Total Cost = $1,599 + applicable fees
Now let’s take a look at buying furniture (these prices have been pulled from a major national retailer’s website and based from the most affordable options).
Sofa – $599
Loveseat Chair – $279
Cocktail Table – $100
End Table – $100
Table Lamp – $20
Headboard – $150
Mattress Set – $600
Dresser & Mirror – $270
Nightstand – $30
Table Lamp – $20
Dining Table & 4 Chairs – $400
Total Cost = $2,568 + applicable taxes and fees
Keep in mind that $2,568 is an extremely conservative price, as this is based on selecting some of the cheapest options available by a major furniture retailer. In many cases, students will not want to pick the cheapest option; so expect this number to probably be higher.
That being said, buying some of the cheapest furniture possible would still cost roughly $1,000 more than renting; plus the quality would likely be much lower than that of the rental furniture. In addition, there wouldn’t be a major deposit required when renting furniture; so students wouldn’t have to empty their bank account, just to furnish their new place.
In many cases, it just makes plain sense for college or university students to rent furniture while living off-campus. Students can then tell their parents to keep that yellowish-brown floral-patterned furniture that’s been sitting in their basement for decades!
Thank you to Places4Students for sharing their thoughts on why furniture rental is ideal for college students. For more from Places4Students, visit their website.