The average college student will spend over $1,000 a year on textbooks alone. Textbooks are one of the highest college expenses of students outside of room and board. For those of us who have experienced the pain and suffering caused by textbook prices, we are less than surprised by these facts. However, for college freshmen, they are definitely in for a not-so-pleasant surprise when it comes to textbooks. The good news is that now more than ever there are several ways that students can save money on textbooks.
- Always Buy Used
An oldie but goodie: always buy used textbooks. While some bookstores or professors will try to stress getting the new edition, the changes are usually so small that you can get away with buying an older edition of a textbook at a fraction of the price. If possible, compare the new edition to older editions to ensure that the changes will not hinder your education at all.
- Embrace Technological Advances
Put the computer, smartphone or tablet that mom and dad got you for school to good use by buying e-versions of textbooks. E-versions are growing in popularity due to their inexpensive and transportable nature. Instead of carrying around 15 pounds of heavy books you can simply bring your laptop.
- Make the Library Your Second Home
Hopefully you will make a habit out of going to the library for quiet study time and you can also use the library to save money on textbooks. Check the local library to see if they have copies of some of your textbooks. Many schools have a couple copies of textbooks that they will allow you to rent out or read in the library for a few hours. Scan and print any important pages that you may need while you are in the library.
- Rent Textbooks
New companies have formed that have heard students’ cries and have created textbook rental systems. These companies allow students to simply rent new editions of books at a lower cost. This allows you to only keep the books for as long as you need them and helps students avoid the heartache of only getting a few dollars back when they try to sell their textbooks back to the bookstores.
- Use Social Networks For More Than Socializing
Believe it or not all of your social networking skills can actually help you save money. Everyone in college is trying to save money just like you are so do not be afraid to ask around or post a message looking for people who are selling the books you need. People would definitely be appreciative to get any type of payment for a book they no longer need or cannot sell back.
College is hard but there is help. Remember that you are not alone and that everyone has experienced budgeting problems while in college. Do you have any tips for saving money on textbooks? Share any ways that you have found that make saving money on textbooks easier.
About the Author
Lindsay Traiman is a writer for Skyo. Skyo is an online site for renting college textbooks at a discount with a variety of flexible rental options. For more information and college tips visit www.skyo.com and Skyo’s college blog.