Saving Money in Law School

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Saving — The act or an instance of economizing.”
-Oxford English Dictionary




So for the month of January, I picked the most appropriate theme for this month, New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m not really big into setting New Year’s resolutions because I always feel like I fail within the first few weeks of the year.  However, I do try to start good habits even if I start when it’s not truly the beginning of the year.  My first installment in this series is about saving money in law school, which is a little bit of an oxymoron since law school itself is a lot of money.  However, there are some ways to save money on other necessities and even on your textbooks!

Student Discounts

Being a law student sometimes isn’t always the greatest, but lots of stores like to reward you for devoting your time to studying.  Whenever I go shopping, I always ask if stores have student discounts.  Depending on the store, the discount can be stacked on top of sales that are for the general public as long as you have your student id on you.  For instance, Banana Republic offers a student discount on full price items that combines with any automatic promotion on regular price items.  The same goes for J. Crew Factory store.  Some stores/websites offer discounts through UNiDAYS.  All you have to do is sign up with your school email address and you get access for specific coupon codes to use at places like GrubHub, Adidas, American Eagle, even Barre3 (which makes the online subscription about the same as one in-studio class!).  Another great student discount to take advantage of is the Amazon Prime Student membership.  Not only do you get free 2-day shipping, which is a life-saver, you also get access to Amazon shows, music, and even some books. 

Textbook Savings

I feel like the prices of textbooks might be one of the biggest ripoffs in law school/school in general.  For instance, this semester I purchased a brand new edition of a 500 page textbook for $200.  When I received the book, my dad’s reaction was “You paid $200 for that?”  But honestly, I try to save money when it comes to textbooks, especially if it’s an older edition of a textbook.  I purchase my textbooks through a combination of Amazon and BarristerBooks.  Each of these sites have their advantages and disadvantages.  Amazon is great for having options to purchase books because of their Marketplace sellers.  I’ve purchased a never used older edition of a textbook for $20.  However, definitely pay attention to seller review on Amazon just to make sure the seller is reputable.  BarristerBooks is a website dedicated to solely legal related books/textbooks (and this link gives you $10 off $50).  I have been buying my books from this website the past few semesters.  It definitely has some great advantages over Amazon as it doesn’t collect tax from you unless you live in Kansas (where they are located), has very quick free shipping (I typically get my books in about 3-5 days and I’m on the east coast), and it even has a rewards program to go towards future purchases.  Fun Fact:  elawbooks on Amazon is actually Barrister Books selling some of their used books at discounted prices.

Another tip I have to save money on textbooks is to either rent your textbooks or trade in books using the Amazon Trade-In Program for books that you need for school but don’t want to keep and haven’t destroyed with your highlighters.  Amazon will give you a certain amount of money based on demand of the book in the form of a gift card.  I have earned probably about $300 or more by trading in some of my old books from college and even some non-essential law school books.  That way I can use the gift card money to purchase more textbooks!

Instant Grocery Rebates

No matter how much money you have to put towards school and books, you also need to save some money to buy food.  Yes, you could go the route of eating Ramen for every meal to save money, but that doesn’t have to be your only option.  Personally, I utilize the app Ibotta (you can use the link to get a $10 welcome bonus when you redeem your first rebate!).  Basically, the app has a lot of different rebates for items you purchase at grocery stores, clothing stores, and even some websites.  At some grocery stores, you can even get $0.25 back when you just buy one thing!  All you have to do is check off the rebates you want, scan your receipt after you purchase them, and then you get money back!  Once you accumulate about $20 in your account, you can cash out in the form of a gift card or even utilize PayPal to get cash.  There are some other similar apps but I find that Ibotta has more of the items I already purchase on it, but you can also use your receipts on multiple apps.

Loyalty Programs

This tip/trick is probably one that you guys are already doing.  Signing up for a loyalty card/program is great, especially if you shop at a particular store consistently.  My favorites include Ulta, my frequented grocery stores, movie theaters, Starbucks, and many more.  I love loyalty programs that give you money off when you spend a certain amount, and probably why I prefer Ulta over Sephora so I can save on my favorite high end makeup.  Some grocery stores have deals with gas stations so that you can save a certain amount on each gallon of gas in addition to giving you in store deals.  One of my other favorite things about loyalty programs are when they celebrate your birthday with specific deals, coupons, or even gifts!

What are your favorite money saving tips?  I’m always looking for ways to decrease how much I spend on particular essentials and even fun things!

8 comments:

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