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9 Things You Can Share with Your Roommate

College is expensive… duh. But did you know there are ridiculously easy ways to prevent yourself from spending more than necessary? After the price of tuition, room and board, books, and a meal plan, you still need to stock up your dorm (or house/apartment) with the essentials! Before you spontaneously buy every item that is on the normal “dorm list,” check with this list of items that can be shared with a roommate. Wait until you move into your room and buy these essentials with your roommate so you can split the costs. Along with saving space in your car by waiting to purchase these items until you get to school, you will also save tons of money by splitting the costs.


1. Microwave

Cooking is very limited in a dorm room, so you will definitely want a microwave. When the dining hall is closed or you’re too lazy to leave your room, microwavable food will come in handy, like Easy Mac or Hot Pockets. Since microwaves aren’t extremely cheap, wait until you move in to split the expense with your roommate.

2. Mini Fridge

You’ll want to keep drinks, ice cream, and other foods cold. You can split the expense of a mini fridge with your roommate since it is likely you will both use it. At many schools, you can rent a Microfridge, a mini fridge with a microwave attached to the top. These are returnable, two in one, and ideal to split with your roommate.

3. Electronics

Sometimes sitting in a confined dorm room gets boring. What’s a better solution than watching your favorite shows and movies, playing your favorite video games, or listening to music? Most students will want a TV, DVD player, video game systems, and speakers, so you can count on splitting these items with your roommate.

4. Cleaning supplies

Hate to break it to you, but you’ll have to clean your dorm room eventually. You and your roommate can easily split the necessary plethora of cleaning supplies. You may want a Swiffer, a broom, a trash can, paper towels, dish soap, etc. These must-haves are relatively inexpensive.

5. Furniture

Sometimes you or your guests won’t want to sit on your bed or on the uncomfortable desk chairs the school provides in your dorm. Couches and bean bag chairs are great for dorms, especially if you have a common room. These items are relatively inexpensive at stores like Target and Walmart. Definitely wait until you move in to buy these so you can split the cost (you’ll save room in your car too!). If you know someone who recently graduated, ask them if they have a couch they no longer need! Hand-me-down furniture can be super cheap or even free (and if you’re lucky, already on your campus!).

6. Fan

If you go to a big state school like I did, your dorm room is most likely not air conditioned. The rooms can get unbearably hot, even in the cold weather when the heat is turned up way too high (which you probably can’t control). So you will want a room fan or two. This is a good thing to split with your roommate since you’ll both want one.

7. Mirror

Everyone likes to look at themselves at least once in a while. Full body mirrors are pretty inexpensive and usually come with hooks to easily hang on the back of your door. Cutting the price two ways will make the price seem like almost nothing!

8. Rugs

Many dorm rooms don’t come carpeted, leaving your feet cold! A full-room rug will be the ideal accessory to really tie the room together. There’s no reason to buy this before you go to school, especially since you will not be the only one walking on it.

9. Cooking supplies (if in a house or apartment)

Students often live in on or off-campus apartments or houses [which include kitchens] after freshman year. Kitchen supplies, like pots and silverware, can really add up. Wait until you move in and shop for these necessities together. You might not need to buy much since many people have extra kitchen supplies at home that they will bring to school.

Wrap up:

Since the majority of these items are a must, it will save you tons of money to split the costs with your roommate(s). Split up the various items you want to share to avoid confusion. For example, I may buy the TV and rug while my roommate may buy the DVD player and cleaning supplies. That way, the physical purchases are easier and you avoid the problem of who keeps what at the end of the year. Just make sure you each buy the items you will want to keep in the end. Depending on who your roommate is and the relationship you have with him/her, your roommate may not want to share certain things, so just expect that possibility. It is also common for people to have extras of these items at home, like an old tube TV and fans, so try to communicate with your roommate(s) before you move in and see what you all already have. These tips will save you money and time!

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