5 Ways To Save Money In College

My first semester of college, I spent a good $500 on textbooks and online materials I needed for my classes. Besides putting a dent in my wallet, these textbooks provided me with nothing else once the semester was over. I’m already spending thousand of dollars on my education alone, now college wants me to pay hundreds in textbooks I’ll use for a few months?! Yeah no thanks.

Of course, I did a little research and according to CollegeBoard.com, “The National Association of College Stores (NACS) says the average college student will spend $655 on textbooks each year, but with a single textbook easily costing as much as $300, that total can be much higher. In fact, the College Board puts the annual cost of books and materials at $1,168.”

….. Ya girl ain’t got that kind of money.

I knew there had to be a way I could still have these textbooks but at a cheaper cost. By the second semester, I had only spent $215 for 3 textbooks + 2 online homework sites. I was able to find all my books & spend $300 less the second time around. Keep reading if you want to know how I got my college textbooks without putting a bigger hole in my wallet!

  1. SCHOOL LIBRARIES | As soon as you get your booklist, head to your schools library. At my college, we’re allowed to check out a textbook for 2 hours then return it. This is perfect for taking it to class or if I need to scan some pages for homework.  Make sure to check with your Librarian and see what their check out policies are!
  2. RENT IT |If your textbook isn’t available for check out at your college’s library, don’t worry! Head to your book store and see if there are available rentals. If you can’t get it for FREE, you can always get it for CHEAP. 😉 Renting your textbook instead of buying it can save you big $$$. The only downside, you can’t highlight, damage or mark it up! So make sure to take good care of it during the semester.
  3. BUY IT USED | University bookstores always sell used books at a discounted price too. Buying a used book instead of renting is perfect if you want to save some cash + need to mark up/ highlight your notes!
  4. AMAZON STUDENT PRIME MEMBERSHIP | Another amazing place that offers college textbook rentals is Amazon. More specifically, Amazon Student Prime Membership. Amazon offers a free 6 month trial to prime membership, including free 2-day shipping, exclusive deals + discounts, unlimited access to Prime Movies and most importantly, TEXTBOOK RENTALS!  Renting books on Amazon is quick, easy, safe and prices are always up to 80% off of the campus book store price. Amazon even pays for your return shipping at the end of the semester. Sweet deals right?! Use this link to sign up for your 6-month free trial today!
  5. SHARING TEXTBOOKS | This doesn’t happen too often but, if you sign up for a class with a friend/roommate or happen to make a friend in that class, it would be wise to consider splitting a textbook. Halving the cost of a rental/new/used book can save you lots of money. It also sets you up with a little study group/partner. Trade off the book or meet up to read and take notes together. #teamworkmakesthedreamwork

Side Note: One day I was browsing the bookstore at my school for my English textbook. I was mostly looking at the ridiculous cost of the book that was around 80 pages long. A girl approached me and said she’s took the same English class prior and would sell her book to me for $30 (mind you this was WAY less than the rental price). I gave her my number, we met up in the library and I got my book in great condition! College kids are always looking to make extra cash so if you know juniors/seniors in college, don’t be afraid to ask around and make offers on their books 😉

Never settle for campus book store prices and good luck with your shopping! I wish ya’ll a successful, stress-free semester!




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