Being a student isn’t cheap. In fact, further education after sixth-form can be very costly, which is why it’s important to save money where you can. Here are a few tips on buying equipment for university and saving cash…
Compare electronic equipment
To be able to do your uni work at home you will no doubt need a laptop and an internet connection. Laptops can be very expensive so it’s important to find a model which does what you want/need it to, but don’t buy any more features than necessary. Sales people may try to encourage you to buy more extravagantly in terms of specifications, software and memory, but make sure you research what it is you need before you go to buy.
It is also a good idea to compare the model you want online, to make sure that you’re getting the best price on your laptop. By using a comparison tool you can see which retailer is selling it the cheapest, potentially saving you a lot of money. This doesn’t just apply to laptops; you can compare most electronic equipment, like mobile phones, games consoles and household appliances to make sure you get the best deal.
Sell last terms books
If you’re heading to university and have a mountain of text books left over from your college days, put them to use- sell them. Many on-campus book stores will buy your text books back from you to sell on to new students at a discounted price. You could use this money to buy new books or supplies.
On the subject of second-hand books, check for any you need in second hand book shops, which could save you a small fortune. Text books can be notoriously expensive so any savings you can make on them will go a long way. Second hand shops usually sell books that are in great condition, so don’t be put off it the book has had previous owners.
Only ever buy books if you need a copy yourself. Your university library should have copies of all the books you need, so if you can rent them from the library, don’t buy!
Try not to get into contracts
When you’re a student, you don’t need countless Direct Debits leaving your bank account each month; it can become confusing, especially when you’re on a budget. Stay away from signing contracts for things like mobile phones, internet packages and gym memberships. You can get great deals on pay as you go phones at the moment, with a few companies offering a bundle of free text messages when you spend a certain amount each month. This may save you a fortune. For calls, why not use Skype instead? Get your family members and friends to sign up to eradicate costly phone bills. This should free up some money for general living or some more equipment for your course.
When it comes to buying any kind of university equipment, never make the purchase until you’ve checked online for vouchers. Online voucher codes or printable vouchers can make you some great savings, and you can get vouchers for the majority of the major electronics, stationary and book stockists nowadays. Because the retail market is so competitive due to the recession, most retailers want to draw people into their store or website and keep you coming back. Take full advantage of this as you could save yourself loads of cash by checking for a voucher before you buy.
Sell what you don’t need
If you’re struggling to fund your uni equipment then have a clear out and sell what you don’t need. Old CD’s, DVD’s, clothing and jewellery can all be sold on eBay or similar bidding sites. You will be surprised at how much all these things can add up to, as your discarded items may be someone else’s treasure. The same goes for any unwanted Christmas or Birthday gifts (we all get them). Set up a Paypal account and get selling; you could earn yourself some money which may help towards university living.
Written by moneysupermarket.com