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5 Money Saving Hacks for Your Books This Semester

As excited as I am to be back at Siena, last week I opened up Web for Students and felt my stomach flip a couple of times as I totaled my book costs for the semester. It’s disheartening to think that your saved up money from winter break will go towards paying for books rather than all the dinners and nights out with friends you’re sure to be invited to after a month apart from each other. Fear not because my (nearly) four years at Siena have taught me a couple of money saving strategies, and campus secrets I will now share with you!

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1. Book shop at Standish Library.

This is my biggest hack, and biggest held secret over my years at Siena. Did you know that Saint card you carry around everywhere doubles as a library card? You do know what a library card is right? My sophomore year I walked into one of my writing classes having just purchased the super expensive textbook for the class. I noticed the girl next to me had a hardcover version of the textbook with library labels all over its spine. She told me before buying books online she always checks in at Standish to see if they have it or if it can be requested through ConnectNY. Standish not only houses books for your core classes, but ofterntimes textbooks that are tricky to find cheap online! The great thing about checking a book out from Standish is that you get it for about three months, aka the whole semester, so you’ll only have to renew it if you absolutely need it for an end of semester project. I’ve been doing this ever since then and my only complant has been that more people have started to catch on and sometimes get to the books before me!

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2. Share a book with friends, split the costs!

If you’re like my group of friends, you and your pals try to take classes with one another no matter how different your majors are. Having a close friend in the class not only makes those mandatory cores bearable, but also means you have someone you’re comfortable enough sharing a book with. My housemate and I took Intro to Film Studies last semester and were able to split the costs of the book, making sure we each had enough time with the book during the week to do the readings and coursework. I would say this option only works with friends who you’ll see often, and you’ll feel comfortable badgering about how much you need to use the book on any given day.

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3. Give E-books a chance.

I’ve been a physical book purist for years, and sometimes when I catch myself on my Kindle I still can’t fathom how I’m okay with not being able to physically write on pages. E-books can be huge money savers, and if you don’t need to take notes in margins or highlight large chunks of text, I’d say consider them. E-books tend to especially diminsh costs when you need access to online supplements. Warning: Make sure to check with your professor about purchasing an E-book because some have strict no-tech rules in their classrooms.

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4. Amazon.com, baby.

The cool thing about Amazon is that the site often lists books to buy, at the same price other sites list the books up for renting. If you’re going to spend the money, might as well add it to your growing home library after the semester, am I right?

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5. Buy books off of Siena students.

You’ve probably started getting notifications from multiple class pages that read something like, “Marketing 340, Siena College Edition for sale. Hmu for if you’re interested for pricing.” As annoying as these notifications may get, and as pricey as the kid might be selling the book for (they’re just trying to make their hard earned money back), I like the idea of this system because you both benefit from it; you get the textbook, and your peer gets some reimbursment. Soemtimes this is better than giving your money to some site!

These are just some ideas, but definitely sepend time researching savings that will benefit you for the next four months.

Susana is co-CC for the Her Campus at Siena chapter. She is a senior English major from Westchester, NY.  Her love of languages and wriitng led her to declare a double minor in Italian and Writing and Communications. Post-grad Susana plans on pursuing a career in TESOL teaching and eventually returning to the TESOL publsihing field after an internship with Oxford University Press.  She enjoys traveling, hiking, live concerts, and foodie adventures.  Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @susana0hria.
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