Another option you have to save you money in college is to stay at home and commute. If you don’t live near any colleges then you have no choice but to live on campus. On the other hand, if one of your top college choices is less than 45 minutes from your house, you should definitely consider commuting.
When you live on campus, you have to pay for room and board. Sometimes this can be as much as tuition. If you live at home, you automatically delete this cost. The only cost you will have to pay for that you wouldn’t living on campus is more gas. This might be quite a bit, especially if you live 45 to 60 minutes away, but it still won’t compare to what you save on room and board.
You have to talk with your parents first. If you think you’re living at home for free and your parents expect you to pay room and board, you will run into some trouble. Usually, they will let you live at home for free as long as your going to school.
If I live at home, won’t I miss out on a lot?
Probably not. If you live close by, there’s no reason why you can’t still spend time on campus with friends and come to any activity that you please.
Living on campus might seem really exciting. You finally get to move out on your own and have your own place. It’s exciting in the beginning and then gets old fast.
Have you ever shared a room with a sibling? Maybe you did when you were living and then got your own room when you got older. Remember how exciting that was? Well, living on campus is just going backwards. Except this time, it’s not with a brother or sister that you know well but with a complete stranger.
You’ll deal with issues of sharing a room and maybe a suit. Your roommate might like to bring friends over or stay up late while you like your sleep. If you and your roommate don’t meet eye to eye, there can be trouble.
Even if you couldn’t ask for a better roommate, there’s still the part about sharing a bathroom, eating in a dining hall, and bumming rides off of people while you are still a freshman and have no car.
Sure, you’ve moved out of your parent’s house, but you’ll probably return come winter and summer breaks. You’ll be back where you were and might run into authority problems after having a taste of living on your own. On the other hand, if you never moved out, there would be no sudden problems to deal with.
In addition to money, you need to talk to your parents about rules. I suggest having a conversation with your parents about chores, responsibilities, and going out. Make sure they understand that you’re not in high school anymore, nor are you a minor. They should give you more breathing room.
Still remember that you will and should have responsibilities around the house and need to respect your parents. Now that you’re over 18, they don’t have to let you live with them. They are doing you a huge favor by letting you live in their house. If they aren’t charging you anything for room and board you can consider that a huge blessing from them. Discussing possible issues in the beginning will help avoid them in the future.
If you think this is all too much to bother with, you can just live on campus. If you live close to school you might even try living on campus for a semester or two and decide if you want to continue later on. Think about what you can save by living at home. It might be worth it and it might save you thousands of dollars.