Textbooks. You’re going to need a lot of them over the course of four years. Do you have any idea how much those are going to cost you?? Here’s a figure that will probably make you blanch; the average undergrad student will spend over $1,500 a year on books. The major you choose could increase that figure as some of the more common ones such as economics and chemistry can come with a bill of around $300 for books per class. That’s some serious cash out of your pocket for books. Luckily, you’re a thrifty shopper…and if you’re not, you are now that you have these valuable tips on the best ways to save money on those essential books.
Used Books are Just as Good
Don’t ever buy your textbooks new. At those prices up above, you’re better off seeking out used versions of the editions you need. Many college campuses have resources for purchasing used books at dramatically lower prices. They’re the same books with the same information within, but someone else read through them first. You’ll get all the pertinent information contained in each volume without having to spend extravagantly.
Try the Library
Some classes require you to read certain books that you’re only going to need for part of the semester. English courses in particular will probably have you reading some novels that comprise the curriculum but won’t be required for the whole course. Don’t buy that book, go see if they have it in the library first. That’s why the library is there, to lend you the resources you need without purchasing them yourself.
Borrow Some Books
Chances are you know someone who has taken your course before you and they have the books you need. Perhaps someone in your class has bought the necessary books and they’ll let you take one of them for the weekend to get your homework finished. Maybe you have a book someone else is looking for and vice versa, so trade with them and you can both save some bucks.
Rent Your Books
Most college campuses across the country from Norwich University to Washington State University have some kind of rental service where students can pay to rent books in much the same way as renting a movie from the video store. You’ll have to be careful not to damage or mark the books in any way but then you’d have to be just as cautious borrowing from a friend anyway. This way you don’t have to get it back to the owner so quickly.
E-books are often far less expensive than the actual hardcover (and softcover) versions. You don’t even need to have an E-reader either, though many of the more popular versions like the Kindle or the Nook have inexpensive base models available. Chances are you have a laptop, tablet, even a smartphone, so you’ll be able to access E-books through those devices and getting the digital versions of your textbooks is a great way to save money (and bookshelf space at home).