Preparing for college can be stressful and expensive. More than likely college is the first time many young adults will live away from home. Because of this, many college students strive to create a home away from home. However, this isn't always easy on a tight budget. Dorm decor costs can add up fast, but by following the tips below you can save some money creating your own home away from home.

1. Pinterest = Inspiration

Pinterest is a great free website to use to help plan out your dorm room. It allows you to see what other college students have been able to do with their own rooms. This can be incredibly useful when it comes to finding ways to make your room versatile yet cute. By learning how to maximize your space's potential, you ultimately save some money. Not only will you find style inspiration, but there are also plenty of great dorm room hacks that offer money saving options.

2. Amazon is a great place to find dupes for high-end items.

Sure dorm room decor from places like Urban Outfitters and Anthropology might make you feel like your room is super trendy and unique, but a lot of the home decor items these places sell can be found on Amazon for much less. Never rule out a tassel garland or wall tapestry until you have checked Amazon for a dupe first!

3. DIYs are your new best friend.

Making things yourself can save you so much money. By making room decor yourself, it allows you to customize the pieces you are creating to match the theme of your room. Even though making your own decorations for your dorm many take more time, the money you save is worth it. Not only will you be rewarded with the money you are able to save, but when people ask where you got such a cute piece you can proudly say that you made it yourself.

4. Split the costs with your roommate.

Did you fall in love with a super cute statement rug, but not the price tag? Splitting the cost of bigger decorative pieces allows you to save some money and makes creating a cute room much more manageable on a college student budget. Sharing these costs do come with the potential for conflict down the road when it comes time to move out, but by creating an agreement with your roommate about who will get what when you move out this is totally avoidable.

5. Photos are a cheap way to personalize your room.

With access to online photo printing services and photo printing stations in your local drug stores, printing personal photos is an easy and inexpensive way to add personality to your room. Printing your own photos allows you to decorate your room by creating things like photo walls, which are a fun way to decorate your room and are also a great reminder of memories from the past.

6. Statement pieces

More than likely when you walk in the door or your new room for the school year, you are going to be underwhelmed by the amount of space you have to work with. By spending money on one or two statement pieces, not only are you reducing the amount of clutter you are bringing into the shared space, but you are also able to spend a little more on pieces that really make a difference in the overall feel of the room. Bonus tip: Bedding makes for a really great statement piece!

7. Watch out for back to school sales.

While it might seem tempting to buy things as soon as the summer starts, waiting for the big back to school sales is the ultimate way to save on some of the more expensive items. While pricey items like mini fridges, computers, microwaves and TVs can be expensive on a college student budget, many stores run deals the closer it gets to back to school time to incentivize sales. The same is true for some of the cute dorm decor pieces that always seem to crop up during the summer months. Waiting for these special back to school deals is one of the best ways to save.

8. Downloadable art is a cheap way to create a gallery wall.

When it comes to personalizing your space, one of the best ways to do so is by decorating your walls. Not only does it liven up the boring all-white walls, but it also helps you to once again save space by allowing the rest of the room not to be cluttered with decorations. Websites like Etsy sell super cheap downloadable wall art that you can have printed for a fraction of the cost of typical gallery art. It also comes with the added bonus of supporting independent artists.

9. Dollar stores have hidden gems.

With a little creativity, it is possible to find really great pieces in your local dollar stores. Not only do they occasionally have some really adorable decor items, but they are a great place to find cute (and cheap) storage items like bins and totes that help you store items that might not be so cute to look at all the time. These will help make your room look more organized on a budget.

10. Reimagine the things you already own.

Don't be afraid to use things you have in your room at home already. Just because you use items you already own, it doesn't mean you can't create a totally new look in your dorm room. Upcycling is also always an option in this case. A lot of times students feel like they need to buy everything new for this new chapter of their lives, but by reusing decor pieces from home it can save you a ton of money. Be open-minded to reusing things like bedding and rugs that you already own.

Going to college means that there are plenty costly things you need to be paying for. But if you follow the tips above, decorating your dorm room doesn't have to be one of them. With a little extra effort, you should be able to have a super cute room that feels as though you spent twice the amount of money decorating it.