Going back to school after an absence, sometimes a long one, can be an exciting endeavor. If it’s been a while since you were in school, you will notice some things may have changed. Perhaps you are taking your first online class or using an eBook for the first time. These shifts can be difficult to get used to but once you do, you’ll wonder how you ever did it the old way!
Unfortunately, expenses can add up quickly. Not just tuition and fees, but all those other expenses like books, supplies, and software. Many companies now offer discounts to students from used books to deals on streaming, banking, and cell phone plans. Below are a few companies to check out if you’re looking for some back-to-school deals.
Textbooks and Supplies
There are many websites that offer used books and even some where you can rent books too. Amazon, CampusBooks, Chegg, eBay, and eCampus all offer discounts on textbooks or options to rent. You now also have the option of using a subscription-based website for access to thousands of textbooks across different subjects from companies like Cengage, Perlego, and Scribd. Make sure to also check with friends and colleagues to see if they may have books you can use.
One great place to get cheaper supplies like notebooks, pens, paper, organizational products, is your local dollar store or look for back-to-school deals at stores like Walmart and Target.
Most of the big computer companies offer some type of discount on new laptop or desktop purchases. Apple, Microsoft, Dell, and Lenovo all have student discounts; some offer 5% off purchases, 10% off accessories and more. Visit their websites to see what’s available.
Apple and Microsoft often also sell certified refurbished products for a cheaper option than buying new.
The ability to stream music, videos, or television is not a “must have” while in school, but companies like Spotify Premium, YouTube, and Apple TV+ all offer discounts to students on monthly membership subscriptions. Just be aware that these subscriptions will likely increase once you are no longer a student so remember to cancel or plan for the increased cost.
Cell phones are a must have for practically anyone nowadays, especially college students. Many companies offer discounts to students on certain cell phone plans. These include Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint. Just make sure you read the fine print and are aware of options like unlimited talk, text and data, monthly charges, and pricing and coverage options.
Having access to a free checking account does not happen automatically these days. Banks have all sorts of fees they can charge from monthly maintenance fees to overdraft and ATM fees. Thankfully, many banks offer student checking accounts that offer no monthly maintenance fees, lower overdraft fees, and little or no ATM fees. It is important to check with your bank and let them know you’re a student to see if they can offer any new discounts. Or, if you are shopping for a new bank, make sure you ask about any student accounts or discounts.
There are a variety of other discounts that can be had by students as well. You can get discounts on public transportation, Amtrak, Greyhound, and some hotels even offer discounts to students. Insurance companies like Allstate, Geico, Travelers, State Farm, and Farmers will often offer “good student” discounts on various types of insurance.
College is likely to increase your expenses each month so this might be a great time to start tracking your monthly spending. There are a variety of money tracking apps for your phone like Mint, Credit Karma, and Pocket guard. If you want to pay for your education without incurring debt this might be a great way to figure out what you can afford!
As a student, you might have to live more frugally than you are used to, but thankfully there are lots of discounts and deals to be had. You just need to take the time to look and ask!