A big expense for college students is all the required textbooks for each class. Students also incur additional supply expenses for labs, media and art classes. Start saving early and often to pay for college textbooks and supplies.
How to Pay for College Textbooks & Class Supplies
The Huffington Post reported a few years ago that the National Association of College Stores estimated the average cost of books and supplies per year was over $1,000. Between the new editions and extra features of college textbooks, prices continue to skyrocket every year. Anticipating this cost is a great first step to avoiding extra student education loans.
Saving Tips for College Textbooks
Saving money ahead of time for college textbooks is a great way to avoid debt. Having cash in hand will relieve stress too. Here are some ways to save money for books and supplies.
- Sell unneeded personal items like clothing and electronics.
- Start saving during your junior or senior year of high school.
- Continue working during college to pay for future semesters.
- Go on a spending freeze- stop buying clothes, coffee, movies and other extras for a few months.
Ways to Get Books Cheaper
With cash in hand instead of credit card debt, you can really make the most of your budget. There are several ways to get discounted prices for your college class supplies. Use as many tricks as you can to save; that way, you can stretch your budget across multiple semesters.
- Share books with a roommate- stagger semesters or days of the week you attend the class so you aren’t fighting over the books
- Borrow from the library. Copy or scan the chunks of the book you need once you have the class syllabus.
- Check if a digital version exists that is cheaper.
- See if you can use a previous edition. Be sure to ask the professor first.
- Try to get a used copy. Check websites that resell books: Once you know what you actually need to buy, hit the web. Sites like Amazon.com and Half.com will have used copies that are most likely cheaper than at your bookstore.
Your college textbooks won’t break the bank armed with a savings plan and a strategy to pay below retail.