After paying this semester’s tuition and your apartment’s rent, there isn’t always a lot of cash left over for school supplies. Especially when those supplies cost hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars.
Unfortunately, that’s how much you can expect to spend on the latest laptops, tablets, and phones. All of which is necessary if you expect to excel as a student in 2019 and beyond.
If you aren’t sure how you’ll afford it on a student budget, check out these money-saving tips. Here are some options when money is tight.
There’s a silver lining to needing a new laptop at the start of a new semester. It’s back-to-school season, so retailers all over the country are pulling out their biggest sales. Even the biggest electronic manufacturers join in.
Below are just some of the biggest names offering discounts for students:
You may also unlock savings by flashing your student ID when shopping online at BestBuy and Amazon.
Buying refurbished is a quick workaround to some of the big price tags attached to the latest electronics. A refurbished device tends to be a lot cheaper because they’re previously used, but that’s usually the only difference from their newer counterparts.
As long as you buy a certified refurbished device, it should work as good as new. Certified means it comes with a manufacturer’s word they’ve reset it to factory specification and tested it thoroughly.
You can also buy additional warranties to guarantee their work. These warranties may add on a $100, but it may be worth it in case your device breaks down.
Pause your download on Cat Condo. You’re going to want to save space for these shopping apps. They may help you slash prices and earn money back on tech — and a whole bunch of other semester must-haves.
- Rakuten Rewards: Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten Rewards is a one-stop-shop for coupons, promotions, and rebates. Once downloaded, you’ll be able to earn cash-back rewards on every purchase you make with participating retailers including Amazon, Apple, and Dell.
- RedLaser: How frustrating is it when you come home with new tech only to realize another retailer sells the same device for less? With RedLaser on your phone, you won’t experience this ever again. Simply scan the barcode of your item, and you’ll see its listed price at nearby stores.
- Shopkick: If you’re stuck buying expensive items, you might as well earn a reward for shelling out the big bucks. You can earn gift cards for completing simple shopping activities for Shopkick. But don’t worry, it’s not extra homework. It’s simple stuff like walking into stores and scanning barcodes.
What if You Drain Your Savings for New Tech?
A student’s budget is tight, no matter how many money-saving tricks you perform.
Unfortunately, it’s not like you can go to class without a laptop. Professors put their notes up online, and they expect you to send your essays as attachments.
Maybe you’ve drained your savings account to get a new laptop. While it might be necessary at the time, having an empty emergency fund can leave you vulnerable to all sorts of financial emergencies.
Maybe your car breaks down and you need to pay for an urgent repair, or maybe you run into an unexpected medical bill. In these cases, it helps to have a personal line of credit as a financial safety net.
There are some financial institutions like Credit Fresh that follow an uncomplicated and quick process online. Institutions like Credit Fresh offers lines of credit that are quick and simple.
The start of another semester is always stressful. But don’t let your back-to-school shopping make you stress out about your budget. Be an informed shopper when you pick up new tech, and you’ll get everything you need without going broke.