When you go to college, you will have to purchase your own books. These costs can add up quickly and put a serious dent in you budget. There are some low cost ways to get the textbooks you need.
1) Use The Library
Many professors will place the books that are required for the class on reserve at the school’s library. Reserve usually means you can only check the book out for a short period of time. This can time period can be anything from a few hours to three days. If you are very disciplined and can study within the library’s operating hours, this method may work for you.
Drawbacks: The book may not be there when you need it. You cannot write or make notes directly in the book.
Expert Tips: Many university systems have interlibrary loan. Check with other libraries that are connected to your library system. You may be able to check it out and keep it to yourself for a few months.
Check the public library system. Many of the books can be found at the local public library and few other university students will be looking for them there.
2) Buy Used
You can buy used books from the college book store. You may also be able to find them online even cheaper. Check out amazon.com, eBay.com and other textbook specific sites. You may have to pay for shipping, so be sure to compare total costs.
Drawbacks: You have to wait for your books to be shipped. Books are already written in, highlighted, and often appear very used.
Expert Tips: Check bulletin boards around campus, Craigslist, and even Facebook groups to see if anyone is trying to get rid of your required textbooks locally. Student to student deals are often the most cost effective.
3) Sell Your Books
Selling your books back at the end of the semester can get you credit at the bookstore to put towards new textbooks. Most bookstores will offer money based on what condition your book is in and whether or not a professor is requiring that same book in the current semester.
Drawbacks: You can’t keep books that might be helpful in the future. You will get back less than what you payed.
Expert Tips: Try to find a buyer at your college. You can charge a little more than the bookstore would pay and still give the other student a good deal.
There are plenty of ways to be frugal during college, so that you can afford all of your expenses and still have a little left over for the fun stuff. Textbooks are significant to getting great grades, but there are ways you can work around the system to make it more affordable.