The start of the school year is right around the corner. Whether you are in high school or college, your bank account is about to take a beating. It’s like a Rocky sequel! With a little planning and guidance, you can come out a champion of your back-to-school bout.
Fight to save money before school.

Textbooks, clothing, and technology will take the biggest bite out of your budget. Here is how you can save on tons of products in each area.

Textbooks

The first key to saving money on textbooks is to not buy them at all. Now, if you don’t buy the book, and you need it for the class, you could find yourself failing the class. Ask your professor and see how s/he intends to use the book in class. If they put it on the syllabus, assume you need it at some point. You might be able to borrow it only when you need it.

While you’re chatting with your professor, ask if you need the latest edition. Sometimes you will need a new version, but often times an older version will do just fine. I went online and found a $250 seventh edition of a biology book where the sixth edition is only $115, and a fifth edition was $45.

Last tip at buying textbooks, check online! I know it’s easy to walk into the book store and grab what you need, or take your list to a local bookstore and let them hunt the books down. Just realize that convenience costs. I use digital versions of books, often times I can find the digital version cheaper. Plus you get the added benefit being able to link and copy text as well as add and remove highlights.

Here are some great sites to check for cheap textbooks:

Clothing

There are a ton of places to save money on clothing. Almost all of your department stores will be running sales, even the smaller boutiques will have sales. My first tip is to buy what is on sale. I can’t believe I am saying this, but shop around, don’t just buy from one store. And check second-hand stores for deals.

More importantly, buy what you need! A friend’s daughter was heading off to college last year and spent over a thousand dollars on new clothes in an effort to “update her look.” Her and her parents took all those clothes to move-in day and half of them came home with mom and dad. Clothing sales are fairly frequent, so buy fall and winter now and wait for sales on spring and summer later. Jeannine has some tips on what to pack for you guys and gals.

Last tip on clothes, utilize or borrow someone’s “big box” store membership. Costco and Sam’s are great places to buy cheap essentials like socks and underwear.

Technology

Tech stuff could be the single largest expense, especially if this is your freshman year of high school or college. If you are in the market for a new laptop or an updated tablet, now is a great time to buy! For students, it’s double discount time for tech. Much of the hot new products, like the next iPhone, will not be on the market until October and retailers are already trying to sell off some of their inventory. On top of that they are offering student discounts. BestBuy has discounts on a variety of products if you are a student. Amazon will give you a discounted Prime membership, like you need another place to binge watch movies and TV. 😉  Apple will give you free headphones if you buy a computer and they give you special student pricing. Some of the discounts are “always on,” but some expire.

Don’t forget to get discounts on your favorite apps. Many services, like Evernote, have a student price. If you are setting up your account before school starts, don’t miss out on this opportunity to save some money.

 

Those are my tips to save money as school starts. What are your suggestions? How do you plan to spend less on what you need for school? Leave us your suggestions in the comments, that way we can all WIN!!!