Save Money Buy eTextbooks!

College is not cheap! It’s quite difficult to afford on our your own when you’re paying for other expenses as well including rent, tuition, supplies, books, etc. Most students look toward other forms of financing these college expenses in the form of student loans, personal loans or even credit cards. This can be a dangerous practice so it’s important to save every penny you can when you’re going to college!

Textbooks costs can add up very quickly. It’s not uncommon for a textbook to cost $200+. Textbooks can typically be sold at the end of the semester in buyback programs however this is not a guarantee. If you do find someone to do a buyback the value is typically 50% (or less) of the original price. That’s only if they take the textbook back!

If you’ve taken a college class within the past 5 – 10 years you’ve begun to see this concept of “eTextbooks”. eTextbooks are just like ebooks, they’re electronic versions of the book that you “rent” for a period of time. Typically the savings is around 60% of the printed price of the book (According to Coursesmart). This can add up very quickly. There’s no more need to finance those additional expenses unnecessarily.

The features of eTextbooks are very similar to eBooks but they do offer some additional features that you’d like to see with a normal book. As an example an etextbook allows for printing of pages (if necessary). Depending on where you purchase the etextbook there may be other features that you will certainly enjoy. Highlighting is possible in an etextbook allowing you to call out important facts. Text can be copied, notes can be added and more!

According to Coursesmart, the average saving of an etextbook is $66.59 per book. eTextbooks are also very convenient and accessible almost anywhere that has internet access (including internet cafes). No more lugging around books and hurting your back… just carry around your netbook and you have access to your etextbook!

When considering etextbook or traditional book, consider how you’re paying for the book. If you’re paying with cash, you do not need to worry about finance costs. Therefore it’s a very simple formula to understand. Take the purchase price of a traditional textbook and subtract the trade-in value (most bookstores will give you this upon request) and you can determine your true cost of usage of this book.  Then evaluate that against the cost of an etextbook and you will see very quickly that the etextbook is typically cheaper. If you’re not paying with cash, consider financing costs. Let’s face it, in college maybe 1% of student loan borrowers will take their buyback money and put it towards their loan or credit card they used to finance the books. Most will use it as extra cash. You will pay more financing costs on a traditional textbook because of the larger purchase price.

Remember, there are tax breaks for the price of textbooks. There are many other tax breaks for college expenses – make sure to do your diligence before choosing a financial route. You should always evaluate your financial situation before making financial decisions. If you have questions you should contact a financial professional.