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Highest Echelon

A personal finance blog. Paying for my University, life and eventually achieving financial freedom.

The cost of school books is killing me!

Friday, May 04, 2007

If you've read some of my recent posts you'll know that I am now the proud owner of an Associates Degree in Business Administration (pending 2-4 weeks mail delivery). What you don't know is that I've doubled up on classes so I can finish my Bachelors even faster.

I am currently taking the equivalent of 8 classes, that's the absolute maximum number of classes allowed by my University. In order to even qualify for this I had to pay off all outstanding debt (ouch!), needed a GPA of 3.0 or better (no problem since my last term's GPA was 3.89), and then I needed to meet with the Dean. After reviewing my records and interviewing me, her exact words were, "I see no reason why you shouldn't take that many classes."

Now I have a bunch of 0% introductory APR credit cards that I'm currently living off of. I make the monthly payments and just let the remaining balance roll over until about a month before the 0% introductory period ends. In other words, I have plenty of imaginary money. (I keep a little slider bar on the top right of my page that shows how much credit limit I have and what my goal is.)

The only problem is: The cost of school books is killing me!

It feels like the second a new book comes out, the whole University switches to the newest edition. And those damn things update like every 2 - 3 years and cost around $100 each, used!

I already use a combination of using the school bookstore, buying online from half.com, amazon.com, and eBay. I even send out emails to all the teachers kindly requesting that I be allowed to borrow one of their books (they usually get sent 5 books by the publishers to do with as they please).

If I sound mad now, wait half an hour. I'm off to buy some school books!!! grrrr!!!

What are some ways you cut down on school books?

Labels:

posted by johnwilkx, 7:18 AM

5 Comments:

Dude I totally understand your pain. I must have spent more than a thousand dollars on books so far in the last 4 years.

But you are on the right track - especially with this approach "I even send out emails to all the teachers kindly requesting that I be allowed to borrow one of their books" - that works and is definitely the cheapest (and best)way to get your book.

Last year, I got a couple of books from my friends who were returning from India - those editions (Asian Editions) were way cheaper (more than 10 times cheaper) than their corresponding editions here. I understand that it's not very ethical to get Asian Editions here but $175 for a book that I won't foresee using more than a semester pushed me over the edge.
Hey jim linked to your over at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity, so I thought I would look around.

I also have some advice on your book issue. It is not how to get free books, but they are close. Here it goes:

When I was in school I found Best Web Buys. This site ranks the top online stores (Amazon, half, etc) including used for you. This means you can get the cheapest used books (which are usually brand new) for pennies on the dollar. I never paid more that $150 a term for all my books. You should really try it next time.

Tell me what you think.
Wow, that looks great, Dustin! I'll add it to my long list of "ways to get books for less" checklist that I go through at the beginning of every term.

Grumble! A new term is coming up soon.

-Wilks
I always try to buy books from people the year above. You can get really lucky if they have made notes!
Ecampus sells used textbooks. We also rent and buy back textbooks from students. Ecampus is cheap and convenient! Check it out!

Anna Hartkemeyer
commented by Anonymous Textbooks - Rent Textbooks" rel="nofollow">Ecampus, Mon Dec 06, 08:00:00 AM 2010  

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