Inside of book folded to make heart shape

Want to know the biggest leach for sucking the life out of your student loan? Textbooks. Yes, textbooks can be very expensive. So, how can you be financially smart when it comes to purchasing these paper devils? Simple… read our guide.

Buy used or older editions

Old book lying open

If you’re a lover of all things shiny and new, this tip isn’t going to go down too well but used textbooks are constantly being sold online for next to nothing.

Although you may not get that fresh new smell from a newly purchased book, you are likely to get all the same information.

A word of warning: information in some subject textbooks quickly becomes outdated so be sure to ask lecturers if the new edition is suitable.

Ask previous students

Student using a book from previous student

Another way of saving the pounds is by asking older students (who study the same course) if you could buy their old textbooks off them.  With little use after the module has finished, textbooks often end up taking up desk space and many students are happy to sell them on for a considerably lower price.

Some students are even happy to give their old textbooks away, perfect for the budget conscious student. However, previously used textbooks are often covered in written notes so be sure to ignore the notes (unless they’re good).

Use E-books

Student at home reading textbooks on tablet device

In this digital age, it’s becoming increasingly common to find your reading sources online – after all, what isn’t available on the internet?!

Mentioned in our guide to the 7 pieces of software every student computer needs, having your reading resources in a digital format is a lot better than breaking your back carrying chunky textbooks around. Not to mention CHEAPER!

Having your reading resources on your computer or phone ensure you always have them at your fingertips (we know you students never forget your phones…) as well as saving you a fortune. Plus - you’ll never lose them.

Don’t forget your student discount!

Student putting thumbs up

Student discount – a legit life saver for the cash strapped student. But does student discount apply to educational resources? Of course, it does.

When purchasing your books, ask the cashier if the store offers student discount – what’s the worst they can say, no? If you are given discount, you could save yourself a decent amount, which could be better spend on let’s say… socialising.

Bulk Buy

Stacks of books in room

On the back end of student discounted purchases, bulk buying can be a great way of stretching the pounds further. If you’re given a reading list for the course, buying them in the same place can save you a fair bit of money, especially if bulk buy discounts are on offer.

Look around and enquire at a few stores in the local area. Alternatively, online dealers may offer multiple purchase discounts - just be careful that the postage charge doesn’t outweigh the money saved.

Use the Library

Students talking whilst studying in library

During your time at university, the library is going to play a major part in your academic life (hopefully), so it’s worth going on a library hunt for your course reading list.

However, it is worth noting that you must be pretty quick when it comes to obtaining the resources – other savvy students will be hoping to snatch the textbooks first.

Extra tip: having a good relationship with the librarian can make for an easier student life, especially when finding course textbooks.

Utilise academic journals

Students using academic journals in university library

All universities around the globe have extensive academic journals full of cutting edge data, free for you to access. So, if you’re having trouble writing that pesky essay, try to include some stats, figures or case studies, found using the database.

If you’re looking for information that can’t be found in your course textbooks, don’t search for alternative books – use the  university’s online journals.

Not only will the journal help write the essay, but it will also save you money on textbooks and really impress your lecturer – they like to see you’ve done your homework and are up-to-date.

Sell them

Books lines up next to each other in sale

Like a never-ending cycle, you’ve finally reached the final stage – selling them on (providing you opted for the paper copy). Like you, younger students conducting the course will be hunting for previous students to buy textbooks off.

If you are going to sell them, make sure you keep them in a decent condition and be realistic about the price. If you’ve covered the books pages with course notes and annotations, make sure the price reflects this.

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