Saving money as a college student is one of the top priorities. After all, with tuition on the rise, every little penny counts. One thing that students spend a lot of money on every year is textbooks. Whether you’re taking an English class, or a biology class, or a theater class, most professors require students to use an assigned textbook for supplementary material and reading. My freshmen year I spent around $600 on textbooks. I knew that there had to be a way to save money on textbooks, even the more expensive hardcover ones. I started doing a little research and by the end of my sophomore year, I had spent only around $250 on textbooks. Curious to know the secrets on saving money on textbooks? Well check out these great tips!
Rent, Don’t Buy
I really can’t believe how many students actually buy their textbooks. Unless you like to write in your textbooks or you want to keep your textbooks for the future, including graduate school, it just isn’t necessary to buy your textbooks. A much better option is to rent. Many textbook websites will actually allow you to rent books instead of buying them. Depending on how long you need the book for and depending on how in demand the book is factors into the cost of renting it. One website I use is BookRenter.com. It’s easy to navigate and easy to rent books. They’re also extremely quick about renting too. I got one of my books the next day!
A lot of times I have friends who have taken the same classes I’m going to take. And because many of them buy their textbooks they’re always a reliable source. I usually post a Facebook message saying I need a certain book for a certain class and I often get somebody who responds. You can either trade textbooks with a friend for the semester or you can haggle with them about a renting price. Regardless, it’s usually a lot quicker and easier to borrow or rent a book from a friend than from buying from a website or a textbook store. And often times you may not even have to pay if you can trade a textbook with a friend.
Avoid Your School’s Bookstore
Your college bookstore may seem like a convenient place to purchase textbooks for the semester, but they may be the main culprit for increasing textbook costs. Often times school bookstores increase the price of textbooks in order to make a profit off the sales. Because of this, the cost of textbooks may be 25 percent higher than they would normally be. While I do understand that bookstores have to make a profit, it’s definitely not ideal for students who need to save money. If you’re in a money crunch, avoid your college or university bookstore and look else where for books. This can also include purchasing notebooks, pens, and other materials. It’s all cheaper somewhere else.
Photocopy or Take Notes Beforehand
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to buy a textbook only to use it once or twice. It’s literally money down the drain. If you’ve had to deal with this in the past, you know what a pain it is. A great solution to this problem is to contact your professor ahead of time and request a syllabus or reading/homework schedule. If there is only a small amount of reading from the text you can go to your bookstore and purchase the book you need. Then head over to your library and photocopy or take notes from the reading pages. Then return the book with your receipt to the bookstore to get your money back.