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ConsumerWatch: Student Tries To Barter His Way Through Semester

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(CBS)

(CBS)

MINNEAPOLIS (CBS) – A University of Minnesota sophomore is living on an extreme budget, and chronicling it online.

David Levitz’s apartment is barebones, like a lot of college students.

“I’ve got a lot of affordable furniture here. This couch was $30,” Levitz said.

He’s pinching pennies, like a lot of college students.

“I got a lot of my kitchenware for free. My microwave and my toaster oven were both free,” he said.

But unlike the rest of them, he’s doing it for profit.

“There are a lot of foreign exchange students in this apartment, so when they leave, they just want to give all their stuff away,” he said.

He’s participating in a bit of an experiment where he tries to rent, borrow or barter his way through the semester.

BookRenter.com picked him to star in a reality TV-style web series after seeing the pop culture video blogs he tapes in the corner of his Spartan bedroom. But it turns out he already had some experience living on an extreme budget.

“I unfortunately lost my summer job through a series of crazy events, and so I’d been living with basically no money,” Levitz said. “They came to me at the perfect time.”

BookRenter.com is paying him $6,800 for the semester, based on the average college student’s expenses. And David gets to keep whatever he doesn’t spend.

BookRenter.com founder Colin Barceloux has pointed out ”that college costs are expected to hit $287 billion this year.” And that cash-strapped students are “hungry for new ways to save…owning is not ‘cool’ anymore…renting is the ‘new black.’”

“We are really moving from an economy of consumers who want to own to access,” Said Barceloux. ”Students are really a unique segment, and trying to come up with kooky, different, out-there concepts is the best way to reach them.”

 

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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