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With the amount of cash you need for a college education, finding a cheap college dorm is a goal for a lot of students – and their parents. Some aspects of attending college have changed a lot, but there are still those constants – dormitory decisions and needs for the purchase of everything you or your student needs for the semester. sjlvzP6g

Where You Go to School Matters

Of course, the location of the university has a lot to do with the cost of living. For instance, even if you find a cheap college dorm at Fordham in NYC, everything else you have to pay for will have a big city price tag.

Before you even apply for colleges, consider looking in less expensive cities and towns – not because you can find a cheap college dorm necessarily, but you can save on other items on your college dorm checklist. When you’re moving into a college dorm you may be buying meals through the school, but students still buy their own food at times, they buy gas (if they have a vehicle) and they also need to pay for amusement.

The Kiplinger Newsletter researched the cheapest cities and towns to live in, so if you’re headed to any of these areas, you can save on your college dorm checklist and throughout the year on goods.

Everything’s big in Texas – except the cost of living, apparently. You have lots of options for saving money when you live in Texas, a state that has seven of the cheapest cities on Kiplinger’s list.

Specifically, Harlingen, Texas is the least expensive U.S. city in terms of its cost of living. If you’re looking for a technical education, there is the University of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences and Texas State Technical College. The cost of living is 24.2% below the national average, so you can buy gas and everything else cheaper if you choose to move there.

But if you’re looking for a big, university experience, Western Michigan University is in Kalamazoo, which is #3 on the list of cheapest cities. Or if you prefer a small, liberal arts nonprofit school, there’s Kalamazoo College

How about heading south for the winter? The University of Memphis is in the fourth least expensive city. Of course, moving into a college dorm varies in cost from institution to institution, and finding a cheap college dorm is one thing, while tuition costs are another.
Just because a city has a low cost of living, that may not carry over to the expenses associated with your dorm room.

Best in the West Tuition Breaks

i8cLMmpAIf you like the idea of moving into a college dorm in a less expensive city, you have to look at factors like out-of-state tuition fees.
There’s a great opportunity for students who live in any of the western United States. You can avoid out-of-state tuition using the Western Undergraduate Exchange system, known as WUE. The idea came out of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) in an effort to reduce the extreme expense for young men and women to choose a college outside of their home state.

Students from the following 16 WICHE member states can interchangeably attend any of these schools at a lower tuition cost:
• Alaska
• Washington
• Oregon
• California
• Nevada
• Idaho
• Arizona
• Utah
• Montana
• Wyoming
• Colorado
• New Mexico
• North Dakota
• South Dakota
• Hawai’i
• U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States

It still costs more to attend one of the WUE schools outside of your state than the universities that are closer to home. But instead of being 300% more expensive, tuitions are kept to no more than 150% of in-state tuition at participating schools.

The requirement is that the students who are eligible for WUE tuition breaks are those who are residents of a WICHE member state.

Tips to Save on Move-In

When you’re in the process of rubbing your wounds after writing your first tuition check, the word “ouch” may come to mind when moving into a college dorm room. A lot of college students head to the nearest Target store, as well as pharmacies, bed and bath shops and home goods stores to mark off all the items on their college dorm checklist.

Aside from being at the mercy of the expensive location of your school of choice (University of California, Santa Barbara is a case-in-point), there are strategies you can use to make that college dorm cheap – well, cheaper at least.

If your school is driving distance away, you can pack your car to the gills if you want. But if you’re flying, pack as lightly as possible and then buy what you need once you arrive. Whether you’ve chosen mail or a delivery service to send your belongings, or if you have to pay for extra luggage on a flight, you may be better off buying those items at the point when you’re moving into a college dorm room, not before.E 23BveQ

If you want to save on furniture and appliances such as lamps or microwave ovens, ask the residence advisor or fellow students where discount stores are located.

Another very good reason to wait before filling boxes and bags with all your décor and supplies is that many – even cheap college dorms – have furnishings. In all likelihood, they will either mail you a college dorm checklist or post one on the school’s website.

Once you find out how your room is already furnished, which could include huge items such as a mattress, desk, couches, a washer and dryer, etc., you can determine what you need to buy or borrow for the school year.

If your dorm comes with a kitchenette, stock it with some reusable dishware to keep the disposables to a minimum. You may or may not want to purchase the meal plan available. For some students it’s more food than they can consume, but universities typically offer options for fewer meals than three per day.

One method for food purchase is to issue cards that you swipe when you go to meals. If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, it’s a good idea to invest in a mini-fridge and microwave for your room. Having a cheap college dorm is one thing, but your health and safety is a higher priority.

Lack inspiration? Use Pinterest for room design ideas. You can follow a particular color scheme or look for posts or YouTube videos with the words “moving into a college dorm room for less” in the title or description. You can even watch YouTube videos to learn how to decorate, plus you can learn how to make your own affordable DIY furniture.

If money is tight, you can’t afford to break or lose your belongings, so keep that in mind too. Teenagers and other young college students are spreading their wings for the first time, so the possibility for loss or theft aren’t necessarily on their radar. It’s always a good idea to remind yourself – or your student – that there are opportunists who may look for ways to make a few extra dollars by stealing valuables.

Cheap Cars to Take to College

While the cost of tuition and expenses related to moving into a college dorm room are on your mind, one of the greatest expenses in life is your vehicle. Sometimes we forget that there’s a lot more than the initial sticker price – we think we just get a car loan and get on with it.
But you also have to factor in insurance, fees, repairs and gas. Once you do the math, you may be interested in finding cheap cars to take to college.

When you move into a college dorm room you also need to consider parking. You no longer have your own driveway and a three-car garage like you may have had at home.

A lot of students who have been driving Mom’s Prius or Dad’s pickup for the last four years need to buy a used car for college. It’s a great way to keep your college expenses down – if you’re hitting the books for a few years you’re less likely to really put to use the new Tesla on the market.YNj1OqIw

There are plenty of cheap cars to take to college, so you can hold off on your dream wheels until graduation.

While it may look like a problem to be solved, needing a vehicle is also an opportunity. If you’re looking for a car to take to campus, you can make an inexpensive purchase and serve the needs of others at the same time.

When you buy one of the Cars2Charities donation vehicles you support nationwide nonprofit organizations. When individuals donate a car to charity through us, we handle the sale of their car and issue them a receipt for their tax write-off, while a lucky charity receives a check for their cause.

The donors choose any 501(c)(3) they want to, and in 30 years of business, we’ve seen a lot of smiles on the faces of needy organizations.

You can support the effort to put money into the pockets of great causes, which range in focus from pets and scholarship foundations to children with cancer and single mothers. Your purchase can become a part of that process.

See a description of our auction on the Cars2Charities website. You’re always welcome to come to the weekly auction and details are available on our site.

While attending university can seem like a swirl of excitement mixed with trepidation and weeks of multi-tasking, it’s great when you can enjoy the process.T2a9y8hA It will take some pressure off if you trim your costs a bit through such methods as buying a used car for college, because there’s money left for other pursuits.

And if you need a car and can support those less fortunate with your purchase, it can act as a stress reducer of sorts. Feeling you got some sweet deals and came out a little ahead of the game with a cheap college dorm – whether you choose a less expensive campus or buy discount items – is frosting on the cake.

Where needs are great, so are heroic efforts to meet those needs. Donating to women’s shelters and other related charities can do a world of good for those without resources.

What to Donate to Family Charities

Each nonprofit organization has a unique mission. And depending on the values of the charity you support, there’s a specific type of assistance they need, which sometimes includes physical items. Most have an ongoing need to cover operating costs, but in addition to that, nonprofits such as women’s shelter charities also have wish lists.vAvHoNkA

A good time to consider how to donate to women’s shelters is when you’re cleaning cupboards and closets, because you can easily run across items that are commonly in short supply. What seems to you like inexpensive everyday tools, or even luxuries, can raise the quality of life for someone depleted of resources.

For many means of support, such as safe houses for women and children escaping domestic abuse, donated garments are always needed. Much of the time the clients of these nonprofit services leave their homes with nothing but the shirts on their backs. Most charities related to the welfare of women and kids will include clothing donations and shoe donations on their lists of supplies they need donated.

Some of the clothing and accessories you can donate are:

• Bras and underwear

• Pajamas

• Walking shoes

• Cosmetics, nail polish, makeup

• Toiletries, facewash, toothbrush, hair products, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant

• Clothing, shirts, pants, business attire, jeans

• Feminine products

zlwuWX wAnother thing you can donate to domestic abuse victims is a means to get to a workplace to keep their jobs. But there are also other important reasons they need transportation. They often have hurdles to overcome in getting to childcare, showing up for court appearances, and making it to medical appointments, for instance.

Even when a victim of domestic abuse feels she can breathe a sigh of relief that she’s now out of the pathway of an abuser, the life of her and her children must move forward, which includes showing up for work. Many of these brave women also struggle to keep the lives of their kids as normal as possible despite their circumstances. In most cities, that requires a way to get from Point A to Point B.

To expand their options in transportation you can:

• Directly make a car donation through companies like (800) Charity Cars 

• Purchase gas cards

• Purchase bus or train passes for women without transportation

Providing updated technology:

Another need for nearly every modern-day woman, whether she’s in a homeless shelter or not, is adequate, appropriate technological tools. For instance, if she needs to find work in order to gain independence due to a challenging situation, she can’t apply for a job through online sources such as Indeed, Glassdoor or ZipRecruiter without access.

Do you have an older Dell just sitting in the garage collecting dust? Or a monitor that works perfectly well, but you already have one? Even if your PC can only do word processing, it’s better than nothing at all.

Old computers and cell phones help women get back on their feet by giving them wi-fi connections for work, or the ability to apply for a new job. And cell phones provide communication and safety, especially if she has to interface with an abusive ex or walk alone at night.

Donating Directly to Specific Charities for Women

Of course, there are many reputable conduits for placing financial support in the right hands. But if you’d rather do something more direct, there’s that opportunity too.

3KhdoSmwYou can send resources or manpower directly to the place it’s needed in several ways:

• Donate your vehicle through Cars2Charities, where the car is sold and the money is sent to a nonprofit in need, which you get to choose. • Write a check directly to the charity you wish to support.

• Volunteer at a homeless shelter or another favorite charity.

• Make a homeless shelter donation.

Sadly, children are often collateral damage in cases where a husband and father is violent, or when a mother is diagnosed with a fatal disease. When “mom” is out of commission, a lot of things fall through the cracks, which means the kids suffer too.

There are supplies you can offer families through many responsible charities for women. They can typically use:

• Diapers

• Books

• Children’s toys

• Baby wipes

• Clothing and shoes

Types of Charities

With the rise in awareness about women’s issues, it’s easy to find out how to donate to women’s shelters and to support other females who are facing various challenges. There are more opportunities than ever to support the work of organizations already making a difference.

When you donate your vehicle through Cars2Charities, you can make a homeless shelter donation to support people who are in economic turmoil. Or you may choose another worthy charity – one that includes residential care, or a nonprofit providing scholarships.

We have worked with hundreds of charities, creating partnerships with donors and nonprofits to send money to hurting, vulnerable people.

Single Mothers Outreach

Serving the area of Santa Clarita, California, Single Mothers Outreach has offered clothing to hundreds of women who are handling the child-rearing and holding down jobs. But giving moms free clothing from their Newhall thrift store, Closet on Main, is just a small contribution made by this charity.p73l4VVw

The nonprofit also connects single parents to vital community resources.

They help women to grow personally through training programs and helping low-income family members find jobs. Single Mothers Outreach is more than just an entity to hand out assistance. It is a growing community banding together to hold each other up, raising children with the care and inspiration of others. 

Shoes for the Homeless Inc.

A charity that collects and distributes footwear, Shoes for the Homeless provides protection for the feet of individuals who don’t have the means to pay for it. The charity’s mission is to distribute shoes free of charge throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.

It was founded by Dr. Ira Diamond, a podiatrist who has been helping individuals who are living on the streets for the last few decades. Using the tagline “Helping the homeless, one step at a time,” Diamond recognized that wearing shoes contributes to their quality of life and improves their self-confidence. Family charities such as Shoes for the Homeless offers support to men and children in need, in addition to women who are facing challenges. 

Opportunity House

For the homeless in Vacaville, there is a safe, drug-free environment where families can get off the street. Opportunity House has helped thousands of residents in the area, offering services from transitional housing to mentorship. Single parents, including women, can benefit their children by breaking the cycle of homelessness with the support of this nonprofit organization. It is staffed by volunteers and is powered by the Vacaville Ministerial Association.

The goals of the group includes empowering individuals to become self-sufficient through meeting the diverse needs of the homeless residents of the area. It is a gateway program connecting individuals to services. 

Orange County Rescue Mission

If you want to know how to donate to women in shelters in Southern California, Orange County Rescue Mission gives you that opportunity. There is a wide range of methods for contributing money to the cause, including stock investments, meal sponsorship or a car donation.

Like most homeless shelters, they have an ongoing need for household items, from food and clothing to bedding and towels. The website for Orange County Rescue Mission also has an “urgent needs” category, which sometimes includes baby items or specific foods. You can also support the Tustin charity by shopping. Ralphs grocery store, Amazon Smile and Twosome Socks are a few of the online sources of revenue for the mission. 

Car Donation to Benefit Women

NZVKTZrgDonating a car to women is possible through Cars2Charities, which turns a vehicle you don’t need into the resources a nonprofit does need. The beauty is that if you want to donate to a family shelter, or if you have another 501(c)(3) in mind, you can choose where the value of your vehicle is donated. 

It’s not a direct donation to provide wheels – it’s an easy way to find a new home for your car and turn its value into support for women’s shelter charities or other resources. There are countless ways to make women’s shelter donations. To scroll through choices, visit Womenshelters.org, where you will find transitional housing, domestic violence shelters and other resources. There is also a homeless shelter directory, if you’re looking for housing in a particular location. 

If the idea that women can use some extra support is a constant concern for you, it’s nice to know there are many ways you can help. People who have time for volunteerism offer the elbow grease many charities need, which is a big help, to be sure. But if you lack the time to physically volunteer, you can make a car donation or contribute cash to provide more resources to women and families. Women’s shelter charities abound, plus there are other nonprofits that can help you make contact. They will be grateful to you!

Car donation in Orlando, Florida

Even when you live near the Happiest Place on Earth, you know there are people whose lives are difficult. When you donate a car in Orlando you contribute to the nonprofit of your choice – putting funds where they’re needed. And it also benefits you with a tax deduction.

Why should I donate my car in Orlando instead of selling it?

Do you find your vehicle showing its age and repeatedly need to drop it at Sloan’s Automotive or at the dealer for repairs? When you start to feel like you need something new, you can offset some of the expense with an additional write-off through a vehicle donation in Orlando.

Orlando6Whether or not you drive to Disney World every day for work, your odometer advances with every trip, from the coast to the carpool.

If that’s the case – if you’re looking for something new – and you’re planning a dealer trade-in, we have some incentives for making a car or truck donation in Orlando instead. They only give you part of your vehicle’s value, as you probably know. That’s because they’ll be putting it on the lot later, and they have to make a profit.

Students at USC’s business school did a study that found something more. It turns out, you lose in another way. Car buyers who bring trade-ins to the dealer don’t get very good deals. Sales staff members tend to raise the price of the new car, so while you’re just getting a fraction of its value applied to the sale, you’re paying more for the new car.

But the good news is, when you make a vehicle donation in Orlando through Cars2Charities, your deduction is based on 100% of your car’s sale price.

How do you donate your vehicle in Orlando?

It’s so easy! Just call us at 855-520-2100 or contact us online and we send a technician to tow away your vehicle wherever it is. We are flexible, so we work around your schedule.

We pick up your vehicle at no cost to you. And we handle the entire donation process, leaving you with the tax break and the charity with a check.

Here’s where our process is unique. After we tow away your car, our technicians inspect it to see if it would benefit from any alterations, so it’s in the best shape to be sold. We then sell your donation car, maximizing your write-off through the necessary changes.Orlando2

If you’re thinking you don’t need the gas guzzler anymore, now is the time to call us. Nearly every manufacturer is producing an environmentally friendly vehicle these days. Perhaps you’re looking at the Fiat 500 or a Nissan Leaf to reduce your carbon footprint. If so, consider donating a car in Orlando through Cars2Charities.

Do you have favorite causes? Pets? Scouting? Your auto donation in Orlando can benefit any 501(c)(3) you choose.

Car donation in Albany, New York

Are you thinking about upgrading your car for the daily commute to the capitol? A car donation in Albany is an easy way to find a new home for your old vehicle and improve your portfolio with a tax write-off.

Why should I donate my car in Albany instead of selling it?

Maybe you’d like to drive a model with a crash prevention system or nice leather seats and great sound. Whatever needs improving, it’s a sweeter deal with a vehicle donation in Albany – especially if there’s a cause that’s close to your heart.albany3

If you’re losing confidence in your car’s ability to get you to work because you’re constantly at Capital Tech with increasingly more repairs, it may be time for a change. An article on the Edmunds site says that if you’re spending a lot of money fixing your car, it might be wiser to upgrade. You don’t want to spend more on repairs than you would on a car payment.

Do you feel the pressure to drive an environmentally friendly vehicle? If you really want to drill down by looking at the advantages of electric cars – even with solar capability, Solarize Albany has some arguments for taking the leap.

If you typically do a trade-in, we have some suggestions. You probably know you lose some of your vehicle’s value. Dealer trade-ins only get you about half of your vehicle’s value. However, with a car charity donation in Albany you can write off 100% of the market price of your donation car.

A car, truck or SUV donation in Albany has a threefold benefit – you can support your favorite charity; someone gives your old car a new life; and you get a tax break.

How do you donate your car in Albany?

In about 5 minutes, you’ve done it! Just make a quick call to us at 855-520-2100 or donate online. We take care of everything, all the details from pick-up to title transfer.

After you reach out to us, we will arrange a time that’s convenient for you to send our towing professional to pick up your donation vehicle. Even if it’s at the repair shop or your workplace, it’s no problem.

albany1If you’ve ever sold anything on Albany Craigslist or AutoTrader, you know it’s a bear. When we handle it for you, however, you’re free from that headache. We do a lot more than just clean up your car. We get it ready for sale, find a buyer, and even finish the paperwork for you. That leaves you free to spend time with family or do something fun instead of cleaning and taking pictures of your car.

When you donate a car to charity, you want to give extra attention to the company you choose to handle it. At Cars2Charities, donating a car in Albany is totally transparent. Within 30 days of the sale of your car, you and the nonprofit you choose receive the proper paperwork, compliant with IRS regulations, so you have the Form 1098-C for your tax preparer.