it's better to say too much

007. Books, books, books!

Sorry this is a little late!

Please note: This is a little more oriented to buying books for Arts One, although it can be applied to anyone.

Saving money during my years at university and trying to reduce the amount of debt that will burden me post-grad, I have looked extensively into ways to save and ways to earn. My university education is being financed by some OSAP, student line of credit, bursaries, a scholarship, hopefully a Work Study placement, my savings and my parental unit. My initial goal going into grade twelve was to graduate university with no debt, but I’ve knocked that goal down a few realistic notches and it now sits at: as little debt as possible.

One of the major purchases that I can actually do something about reducing (as tuition, mandatory student fees, housing and my meal plan, is TEXTBOOKS. The one thing that I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m taking Psychology 100, Women’s Studies 101 (term 1), French 123 (term 2) and the Arts One, Group A program for my first year. The pro and con to Arts One is that there  are quite a few books that I need. In an attempt to help other first years, and potential ones, and to also see for myself where the heck all my money went, I’m going to detail my textbook spending spree here. My journey begins…

GOAL: Try to stay within the $350 bursary I got at my graduation in June.

Tip 1: The booklist (although incomplete) for Arts One is usually posted a little early on the Arts One website, so I had some idea as to how many books I would actually need.

Tip 2: Ask around. I was actually able to get one of my WMST 101 books from one of my sister’s friends. It helped me to save almost $20.00.

Tip 3: Check I have an iRewards account (bookworm FTW) and shopping online through Indigo is by far a lot cheaper than shopping in-store.

Tip 4: Compare and contrast availability and prices at I looked at shipping estimates, prices and whether they were plain old available at all.

Tip 5: I read Pheobe’s (Blog Squad First Generation) post about textbook buying and found this website called I searched for all my books there and contacted whoever I could find that had cheaper prices than both and I ended up finding about seven of the books I needed, for a lot less.

Tip 6: After these steps I still had books I couldn’t find, so I checked local university bookstores (UofT, York and Ryerson) just to see what they’d have. I ended up actually going to a place in downtown Toronto called BMV and got a few of my books used, at a pretty cheap prices. I would suggest hitting up a used bookstore in your area. You’ll be surprised at how much you save.

Tip 7: Try looking through the UBC Textbooks Trade Centre on Facebook for anyone who is selling textbooks, books and other things from last year.  Also check the UBC Textbook Exchange for books as well.

Tip 8: Finally, I ended up getting the one book I couldn’t find anywhere at the UBC Bookstore, and my Psychology textbook and iClicker at the Discount Textbook store. I saved about $12 total on both.

THE RESULTS: By doing this massive book hunt I managed to save about $190 on my books. I did not stay within my goal because I didn’t expect my Psych 100 textbook to be so much, but  I definitely ended up spending less than I would have if i didn’t do my search. Now if anyone is looking to buy Arts One group A book for the next year, you know who to hit up. *hint hint*

Other money savings tips will come as I learn them. Stay tuned!

1 comment

1 Clair505 { 11.16.10 at 10:13 am }

Very nice blog and you speak from my soul! Most students today have these big problems with money. Selling used textbooks is a very very good way to make some money. Besides the UBC bookstore and saveonbook, I found another very good website to sell and buy used UBC textbooks. The site is called and it follows the same system like all the other sites, but I like the structure and who the site is made. They also offer other functions like adding a tutorial or an event.

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