Dorm Room Tech on a Dime


I don’t know about you, but I paid my own way through college.  As a college student, you learn fast that money certainly doesn’t grow on trees, and hopefully start looking for ways to utilize technology on the cheap.  Well, look no further cause I’ve got the roundup you are looking for to get your frugal tech on!

Cell Phone – So I’m sure you’ve had a cell phone for a while, but you may be branching out and paying for your own service now.  It can get pretty pricey!  Luckily there is a phone service I think is just exactly right for you.  It’s called Scratch Wireless.


You purchase your phone through them (like you would on any other carrier), but the trick is that the service is absolutely FREE!  How it works is that when you are connected to a wifi network, you may receive phone calls, and do all the wonderful things a data plan can do.  When you are away from a wifi network, the data and the phone stop working, but you are still able to text.  If you really need data for some reason for a day or even for a weekend, you can pay for a “day pass” to get access to the data network.

Entertainment – You don’t have to spend a fortune on a smart TV.  You can give any TV the ability to stream all of your favorite shows and movies… and even more with a Roku streaming stick.


It will plug into the back of any HDMI capable TV (so you could definitely find a TV in your price range that should work with it).  Since dorm rooms are pretty small, and likely lacking in a ton of outlets, the stick doesn’t need to be plugged into anything else but the TV.  You wouldn’t need a cable subscription or even a DVD player to enjoy a ton of entertainment.  Perfect solution for dorm room movie night!

Power – speaking of lack of power outlets, the Pivot Power Jr. is the perfect surge protector for tight quarters like a dorm room.


The flexible nature of the power strip lets you put it wherever you need it, instead of just where it will fit best.

Laptop – When I was in college many moons ago, I did have a computer.  It was a beast of a tower that took up my entire desk, but I was definitely one of the few people in the dorms that had one.  Now it seems like a requirement to have some sort of laptop when attending college (side question… do people even still go to the computer labs?  Do they still HAVE computer labs?)  A GREAT laptop, that isn’t going to break the bank too much, and can double as a tablet and much more is the Lenovo Yoga 2.


The size of this laptop is perfect for toting around in a backpack all day long, awesome for reading books in tablet mode, and of course it’s main purpose, to help you write those papers!

Sound – Last but not least, you’ll definitely want a way to blast that music while you are working on a project.  For this you will need a portable Bluetooth speaker.  You can stream the music right from your phone or your laptop so there is no need for another device to play all your favorite “study songs”.  The Oontz is the absolute perfect device for you!  Not only is it inexpensive (some models are only $30), but they have great reviews on Amazon and elsewhere!


They come in a variety of styles and colors, so it’s sure to match your dorm room no matter how you’ve chosen to decorate it.


I must warn you though.  Nothing you buy will ever top what I had in MY dorm room…

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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