Studying for qualification is greatly beneficial for improving your knowledge and skillset, enabling you to be promoted to more responsible roles in your career with a higher salary. However, getting the best from your studying can include a lot of hidden costs, such as a laptop and course-specific software, and pricey textbooks, and stationary equipment – not to mention the cost of the course itself.
You might already be on a strict budget, particularly if you are a full-time student, or have cut down on your hours at work to fit in your study time. To help you out, here are some tips for how you can study on a budget.
Buy second-hand textbooks, or borrow from the library
Many courses issue a reading list of essential texts at the start of the semester and this can often run into the double digits. This might already sound expensive to you, and the price will only continue to rise when you consider that academic textbooks are some of the most expensive books on the market. To help with costs, buy core texts second-hand – there are usually textbook sales on campus with recent graduates wanting to make a quick buck. Keep your eyes open for coupon codes, such as Chegg coupons, which can be spent on college textbooks.
Alternatively, you could consider investing in an e-reader for your college textbooks, as e-books are usually cheaper than their print counterparts. Don’t forget, too, about the library; here, you will be able to find most of the books you need for your study at no extra cost. Many libraries have online resources, so look out for those too.
Opt for budget stationery
Attractive stationery is big business, with everything from notebooks to pens being available in a variety of styles to suit everyone, regardless of your aesthetic. It can be tempting to buy a lot of pretty stationery if you are spending many hours looking at your study notes, to the point where before you know it you’ve spent a small fortune on coordinating files, notebooks, and pencil pot.
To keep costs down, look for cheap stationery from budget stores such as Target. If a plain black ring binder is too uninspiring for you, why not get creative and decorate it yourself? Use glitter pens to add some doodles, or cover your notebook with fun wrapping paper.
Take advantage of free resources
Though a lot has been said recently about the quality of online resources, one of the major advantages of the Internet is that it opens up access to a lot of free learning resources. For instance, if you are learning a language you could download an app like Babbel, eventually reading blogs and watching YouTube videos in your target language when you have built up your competency, perhaps even talking with others in an online forum.
Your teacher will be able to point you in the direction of reputable online resources, or your college might even have collated their own online learning library.