Archive for November 2012

Tis’ the weekend to shop

We are all familiar with Black Friday and many of us partake in the events of the day by waking up at the crack of dawn, waiting in long lines for good deals and trying to get a jump on the holiday shopping. I find it funny that the merchant term “black friday”, which derived from being the day of the year when retailers’ net income goes from red to black, has been adopted by consumers. If you think about it the term itself seems very morbid.

A new initiative started by American Express in 2010 is Small Business Saturday. Granted the term is not as creative as Black Friday, it is a great way to contribute to our local small businesses and economy. I arrived home late last night and plan to take part in Small Business Saturday by doing some Christmas shopping at Multnomah Village in southwest Portland.

And don’t forget to round out the few days of spending by taking part in Cyber Monday. Unless of course you work for me!

Saving Money on School Books For Next Semester

College is extremely expensive, and it is getting more expensive every semester. Students forget to take into account the costs of college that go beyond tuition and room and board.  Many enter college unaware of the exorbitantly high price of textbooks. The cost of textbooks can easily surpass $200, and many courses require more than one per semester (or quarter). During my first semester I spent over $600 on textbooks for 5 courses, of which only 1 was also required for the following semester. The college bookstore told me I shouldn’t worry too much and I could trade them in at the end of the semester.  I took their advice and turned in my $100+ books for no more than $40. I was frustrated, to say the least.

In recent years many other options have become popular including buying used and renting textbooks. At the beginning of my second semester my friend suggested buying books on eBay for a quarter of the price. After looking into it I realized I could save an enormous amount of money and get the same book. I also realized I could then sell the books back to the school or online at the end of the semester for what I paid, or sometimes even more. Many students are also opting to rent their texts books from various text rental websites. This is a very convenient option. There is no need to decide what to do with the books when you are done, just simply slap on a prepaid mail label and mail the book back. Prices are about comparable to buying used but the condition is usually better and shipping is usually paid both ways.

However you decide to buy books next semester, remember there are options to save you money and not add as much to the, already, massive college cost.