Money Saving for Students: The Textbook Dilemma

By: Rachel McCormick
By: Rachel McCormick

The school year is just about to kick off, which means moving in, reuniting with friends, and buying new school supplies including textbooks. I wish times were more like elementary school. You would get a kit with all your folders and pens, and then you would receive all your textbooks for the year. Instead, each semester I have to spend a couple hundred dollars on books that I may not even use.
So I have come up with a couple tips that have helped me in the past save money when it comes to buying books for class.

1.Check online
First thing, make sure you give yourself at least two weeks to order your books online. Purchasing books online is a great way to compare prices and save. I usually use amazon or chegg.com. The great part about buying books online is that you can always find the book you want, however it can be a big hassle when you open that brown paper package and find that it is the wrong book.

2. Don’t buy books on Campus
When buying textbooks I find that they are more expensive on campus. In addition, the bookstore on campus seems to always have a limited supply. With the new MSC bookstore at A&M opening up I could be wrong, but I believe that there are cheaper books around town.

3. Ask Friends
When taking classes within your major, try asking your classmates what classes they are taking. This will be convenient when you’re making your own schedule for the next semester because then you can ask them for their old textbooks. It’s usually a win win arrangement. You get a cheap textbook and your classmate can walk away with a little cash.

4. Always buy used
Unless you particularly enjoy the clean, crisp pages of a new book, buy used. Used books are about half the price, and are just as good as a new copy.

5. Procrastinate sometimes
If you do choose to purchase textbooks at a bookstore, wait till classes start. Too many times have I gone to a class and had the professor tell us that we didn’t need the book. The window of opportunity to return books is about 3-7 days, and no one wants to be stuck with a textbook they don’t need. So for once in your school life, waiting till the last minute can benefit you.

School and living expensive can take a toll on your bank accounts. Don’t let textbooks get the better of you. Save money where you can, and make smart purchases. It will help you out more than you think. I hope these tips will help you in the future. Have fun with the last few days of summer and good luck to all those going back to school.


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