When you’re trying to save money and be frugal, going to college is one of the largest tabs you’ll ever receive. College is definitely not cheap and it can take years to pay off your college debt. When it comes to buying your books, you might be surprised at the price tag you’ll see when you look at how much they cost. Whether you are just trying to get your basic bachelors degree or are aiming for your doctoral, there are a number of ways you can keep the costs of college textbooks down to a minimum.
For some people, it might not be a big deal to get new college textbooks. However, if you’re trying to be more sensible about your consider the many alternative options. Let’s see how you can save some money on college textbooks.
Don’t Buy Your Books at the Bookstore
If you didn’t know, the bookstore is usually the last place you want to go in order to stock up on the books needed for your college courses. Even though brand new and untouched books have their own way of being pretty desirable, it’s going to cost way more buying them new when compared to the prices you can get them used on E-bay or Amazon. Even used books at a bookstore are going to be over-priced in most cases.
The only reason you would want to buy what you need at the bookstore is if you have any packets assigned to you by your professor that must be printed out. A bookstore is exactly where you need to go in order to get this done, so you really don’t have any other choice.
Wait Until After the First Class
While you want to be prepared for college ASAP, it might be wise of you to wait until your first class to buy your books. While some classes will require you to buy a more expensive book for your curriculum, some professors are willing to work with students who can’t afford the high costs. Your professor may allow you to share a book with a student, or they might inform you of alternatives they know of that cost less.
It’s not such a big deal if you don’t have your books on the first day of class, especially since this will typically be an introduction of the teacher and students. This may even be a good time to discuss with your professor about certain books that will be accepted in their class.
Always Go for Used Books Instead of New
This is a classic go-to method for any college student who wants to avoid the high costs of new college books. Like we mentioned earlier, Amazon and Ebay are solid options to find used college textbooks.
A word of caution. Always make sure used books are in use-able condition before buying. This usually won’t be a problem though, especially since most used books are used by a student for only one semester at a time.
E-books are Definitely an Option
There are more and more book publishers allowing their books to be obtained in e-book formats. This might make the most sense for you if you’re comfortable and efficient on tablet or kindle devices. It’s also easier than carrying around a bunch of over-sized books too.
Before you go and purchase all the e-book versions of your textbooks, it’s important to know if it will be appropriate or not. Maybe you prefer the physical book to write in and take notes. This is something that’s not always possible to do with e-book technology.
Is it Possible to Split the Costs With a Friend?
It’s worth talking to your friends about their college plans. If you both happen to be taking the same class at different times, you can figure out a way for you to switch off as needed. While this is a bit tricky and can also result in some moments where you don’t have the book, it can definitely be a good way to avoid paying full price for your college books.
Buy Older Editions of Your Textbooks
Textbooks are constantly “updated”, even if it’s for extremely minor details. While the latest edition is always recommended, you don’t actually need the newest one all the time. In many cases, you can go back a few editions and be able to get through your classes just fine. It’ll also be much cheaper than the newer versions.
It’s important to realize that the page numbers will almost always be a bit different. Certain practice questions may vary when it comes to math and science as well. Double check with your professor as needed.
Rent Textbooks Online
Renting books online is becoming more common these days. It is definitely a good option for saving money buying college textbooks. It’s also possible to rent e-books if you prefer. Make sure the condition of the books you rent are appropriate when it comes time to return them. If the books are returned damage, you are sure to run into some extra fees. Chegg is one of the most popular choices for renting used textbooks and the savings are amazing.
It’s always suggested to have the textbooks you need in order to complete your college courses sooner rather than later. You want to be sure you don’t fall behind due to not having your textbooks. There are a lot of expenses that come with attending college, so it doesn’t hurt to save some money on the way.
Saving money isn’t an instant gratification, but rather a way of being thoughtful for the future. Whether it be for the books you need to dorm room costs, food and whatever else, making frugal choices along the way will prove to be very useful in the long run. We really hope these money saving tips were useful for you. What other ways do you know how to save money on college textbooks?