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College textbooks are often the last thing you think about when you start registering for college classes. However, if you are paying for college yourself or through your parents and are on a budget, then it should be one of the first things you think about. Textbooks can be quite costly especially if you have to buy them new. The average amount of money needed for college books is $800 per year and the cost of is constantly increasing by around 6% per year.
You should never have to buy textbooks new, except as a last resort. There are many outlets for used books and when you are done with them, you can use some of the same outlets to sell them yourself and use the money you make to purchase next semester’s books. It is possible for college students to save quite a bit of money on their books by shopping smart.
Borrow and Barter
One of the best ways to save on spending a lot of money on college books is to borrow them instead of purchasing them. Most university libraries have a good stock of required reading books that students can use on the premises throughout their course to help lessen the impact of being on a tight budget.
Naturally, many students have also discovered that they can save money on college books by using the ones stocked by the library, so it may be difficult to find the book not in use on a regular basis. Planning and setting aside a few different times of the day and week to visit the library may enable you to use the college books that you need.
Another method that may work to save money on college books is to approach your course professor. Often, they have a huge stock of college books that they have acquired through various means over the years and it is a good idea to see if you can borrow a particular book that they may have. This cannot only help you, but it may give you some inside knowledge as to if you will need the entire book or only a chapter or two.
You may ask from some of your upperclassmen friends if they have the college textbooks you need. They may be more than willing to help you because they too know how expensive it is to buying new textbooks.
With this advance knowledge, you can obtain a copy of the book for a short period of time from the library or another student without having to fork out the money for college books that you will not necessarily need.
Sometimes you can make a connection with a student taking the same courses but at different times and work out a schedule to share the textbooks and the costs. When you are not in class, work out a study schedule with your “book-mate” and share the textbook at the same time to study for tests or to complete assignments.
You can save more money on used college textbooks. Many university and college bookstores offer a variety of college textbooks former students have sold or donated. You may save a hundreds of dollars if you choose to buy used college textbooks. Look for bookstores that offer discounts and bargain sales for books that are frequently revised and reissued. You may also search for bulletin boards and look for cheaper textbooks.
Discount textbook websites and sites like Amazon are another alternative that students these days can benefit from. These websites are dedicated to supplying college textbooks, and often offer these materials for notably less than campus bookstores prices.
You can possibly save from 20% to 70%. These discount websites will also conveniently deliver your orders to your dormitory or home.
But, you have to take into account that you will be unable to inspect the merchandise before you purchase them. The textbooks that will be delivered may have missing pages, misprints, and tattered covers. You also could also get the wrong title and it may be difficult to exchange for the correct book.
Rent and Go Green!
Consider scouring the internet for textbook rental stores. There are even alternatives to Amazon. One such company is Chegg, which has a unique approach. They make the point of reminding us that renting texts actually helps the environment as about 20 million trees are lost just to print books sold in the US alone. At Chegg they proudly announce that they plant a tree for every book you rent. So the more books you rent, the more trees you save.
If you are one of the many that must pay for textbooks, whether it be renting, new or used and find it hard afford the cost, there are some options for this as well. If your student loan does not cover the costs or you do not have a student loan for whatever reason, a student credit card could be a great option. You can pay for your textbooks at one time and then take the semester to pay them off before the next semester’s textbooks are due. The trick is to pay off the charges before it is time to buy textbooks again. Divide the payments evenly including finance charges and stick to the plan.
In addition, using student credit cards like the Discover Student Card or the Citi mtvUTM Platinum Select Visa Card offer reasonably lower rates and offer rewards like cash back and points and The Citi mtvUTM Card gives you even more points for getting good grades.