In addition to tuition, today’s college students are required to fork out more cash than ever in order to be able to complete their basic assignments. Requirements such as an up-to-date laptop, calculator, external hard drive, telephone and more can add up quickly and overturn a college student’s already tiny budget.
However, there are a few tricks and tips that can help keep your technology budget in check. If you’re flexible and willing to make a few sacrifices, it is very easy to stretch your dollar further.
1. Consider Quality First, Deal Second
When budgeting for college it can be easy to buy things for cheap simply because it’s a great deal and you are limited on funds. However, when it comes to technology, it is incredibly important to do your research and find out what the best quality products are before jumping for the cheapest option. Buying a good quality computer that will last you all four (or six) years of college is going to cost less than having to replace your laptop every year or so.
Note: This does not mean you need to buy everything brand new. Sometimes a used technology device or gadget is still a great purchase because it is made extremely well.
2. Use a Tablet Instead of a Laptop
Thanks to the ingenious technology of Microsoft Windows and Apple, tablets are incredibly powerful. These miniature computers cost about the fraction of a good quality laptop, are much lighter and can double as a textbook when needed.
If you’re really aching for a keyboard, both the iPad and Surface Pro have keyboard options to let you type away notes during lecture. Another plus: tablet’s long-lasting battery power will insure that your notes won’t suddenly disappear halfway through class.
3. Purchase an All-in-One PC
When setting up a college dorm room, it can be tempting to purchase a computer, TV, sound system, Blu-Ray/DVD player and gaming console to establish an entertainment area. Buying each of those things individually will cost a fortune compared to simply purchasing a large all-in-one PC or Mac computer.
Not only will buying an all-in-one save you money, but it will also save you a ton of a space in an already tight-spaced dorm room.
4. Rent Textbooks Via Kindle
Amazon is a master of the book industry. Already stocked with thousands of titles by various authors and genres, Amazon has added textbooks to the mix. And in order to make it even easier (and cheaper) for college students, Amazon offers Kindle Textbook Rental. Students can rent their textbooks and read them using a Kindle App (another bonus of getting a tablet). Amazon is saving you money as well as saving your back from carrying around heavy textbooks.
Having a phone is a necessary tech gadget in this day and age, especially in college. However, because of this, phone plan costs have skyrocketed and many college students (and adults) are faced with a bill that could bring tears to your eyes. In order to cut down on minutes, text and data costs, make sure to download Skype and WhatsApp. These free communication apps will make it easy to stay in touch with friends and family around the globe while you take on the life of a university student.