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6 Tips To Save On Your College Textbooks

Heading back to college this upcoming semester? 

One of your biggest back-to-school expenses is likely to be textbooks. On average, college students spend $655/year on college textbooks. 

Watch this quick video for '6 Tips To Save On Your College Textbooks' 

Tip #1: Steer Clear Of The Campus Bookstore

One exception to this rule: Some professors will require custom-printed materials  for their classes. These are printed and bound ahead of time, and you won’t be able to get them anywhere BUT the bookstore.

Tip #2: Don't Wait Until The Last Minute To Buy Your Textbooks

Early bird gets the...CHEAPER TEXTBOOKSYou don't want to get stuck having to purchase that brand new book because all the used ones and rentals are already gone! Shop early while the books you need are still in stock. 

Tip #3: Comparison Shop Online

Look for the ISBN # typically located within the first couple pages of the textbook or on the back. Here's an example:

ISBN Number Example

Once you've found that, go to my favorite online textbook store, www.campusbooks.com and comparison shop online. If your book has multiple ISBN numbers like the example above, make sure to check them both. This website is like the 'Google' of college textbook search engines. 

Tip #4: Consider an e-book

E-books are becoming increasingly more popular. Plus, you will save your back from having to haul loads of heavy textbooks all over campus.  

Tip #5: Share with a friend/roommate 

If you and a friend are taking the same class at different times or between semesters, consider splitting the costs of a used book. This can be tricky to work out, as you need to be sure you each have access to the books when working on homework and going to class. But if you’re taking the same introductory course on different days, textbook sharing can be a viable option.

Tip #6: Don't be afraid to order an older edition

Textbooks are constantly being “updated,” even when the update involves only very minor edits. For most classes, you probably don’t really need the latest edition. Just be aware that page numbers and figures don’t always line up from one edition to the next, so you’ll need to be extra careful that you’re completing the correct coursework. This tip is not recommended for math and science classes where the professor relies on homework from the book, as questions can change from edition to edition.

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Desmond Henry, a Certified Financial Planner in Topeka, KansasDesmond Henry is a fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and founder of Afflora Financial Life Planning in Topeka, Kansas. He helps the retiring/retired plan their finances and invest their money. CLICK HERE to learn more.