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Aug
18

Tara’s on a Budget: Back-to-school shopping question, will this help me get my degree?

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As the end of summer nears, it is time to get into the school mindset. Back-to-school shopping can be costly (believe me, I learned the hard way) but luckily I’ve done some research, and can offer some insight regarding this topic.

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The next step after registering for classes is purchasing textbooks. The best advice I can give you is to do your research before buying anything! The first thing I do is ask fellow classmates, who have taken that class, if they actually used the textbook in class. I say this because in the past I have bought (not rented) a textbook for a specific course, and only used it once. If you come to find a textbook isn’t really necessary, don’t buy one. Go to your school’s library or even your local library, and make sure they have the book on file in case you need it just once or twice. If a textbook is mandatory, I highly recommend renting. Using Chegg, I rent the book for three-quarters of the price. In a past blog post, I talked about Chegg’s mobile app and how it really works to accommodate students’ needs. At times purchasing a textbook is necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, try your hardest to keep the book in mint condition so that you can re-sell it for a better price at the end of the semester.

Another way you can cut the cost of back-to-school shopping is minimizing your school supplies. Before you go shopping, look through what you already have: pens, paper, notebooks, folders, etc. You will be surprised to find that a lot of the time you already have the supplies you need. I’ve learned to wait after my first class to deter main what supplies I’ll really need. I have made the mistake of going to the store early and spending money I didn’t need to. So, don’t waste money. Get exactly what you need.

For those of you who are living in an apartment or a dorm, I am aware that you need certain things to furnish it. Last week, I stopped at Bed Bath & Beyond and looked through all the back-to-school furnishings. All of it was trendy, cool, and enticing in the moment, but that was exactly the problem. When you go shopping for your dorm or apartment, don’t just buy things that are useful for the time being, instead buy things that you can use in your future.  I would also recommend reusing. I am one of those people that asks all my friends for their old things. I love other peoples ‘hand me downs’ and it is nice being able to save my money.

Back-to-school shopping is all about being reasonable and respecting your BUDGET!!! Going crazy and buying things that won’t benefit you isn’t the smartest practice.

So, when you are out shopping for all your school items, I encourage you to ask yourself:

Will this help me get my degree?

And if the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t buy it.


As Blogger and budget aficionado, Tara K. helps students across the country enhance their knowledge about money management and everyday  life. She is constantly looking for new ideas to transform into great advice for you. Pursuing a journalism major, Tara K. has a passion for the art of inquiry, which is conveyed through her writing.

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