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Amazon Prime: Is it worth it?

“Hey, give me your money,” said Netflix, iTunes, and online shopping shipping costs. As college students, there is a good chance that these expenses are present in our lives. However, Amazon Prime has made it possible—and affordable—to provide students with instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows, access to over a million songs, and free two day shipping.

If you’re like any other student, you seek out every entity possible providing students with a discount. Amazon Prime offers a 50 percent discount to college students. This makes Amazon Student Prime a one-time payment of $49 for a year-long membership. If you do the math, that totals out to a little over $4 a month, which is half the cost a month of Netflix.

Textbooks: an unavoidable cost for college students. Amazon advertises students can save up to 90 percent on textbooks. Begin by typing the ISBN number of your book into the search on Amazon.com. You may find the book is offered for a much lower price, to either rent or buy, on Amazon compared to other bookstores. You can use the money you’d be saving in your budget for books to purchase Amazon Student Prime, and receive your books in two days!

Other services built-in with Amazon Student Prime include free release-date delivery on video games, unlimited photo storage, exclusive early access to Lightening Deals, and free books each month through Kindle First. If any of these forms of entertainment are important to you, this could be a good investment. Another unique feature is the opportunity to share your account. This allows you to share the Amazon Student Prime services with family members in the Amazon Household, which qualifies one other adult and four children. Once you invite them to join your account in your settings you can successfully share your prime membership, regardless if they are a student or not.

To help you decide if Amazon Student Prime is right for you, there is a free six month trial. Unfortunately, during the free trial you will not be allowed to utilize the free movie and TV show streaming. After the free trial is over, if you wish to not purchase Amazon Student Prime, make sure you discontinue your account. If you do not discontinue your account, you will be automatically charged $49 for a year-long membership.

In conclusion, you have nothing to lose—including money—to at least try Amazon Student Prime. During the free trial, you may find yourself saving money, or it is possible you will find yourself barely using the different services. Whichever decision you come to, make sure it is the right one for you financially. For other financially savvy decisions visit Powercat Financial Counseling for a free and confidential peer-to-peer consultation.

Allison Becker
Peer Counselor I
Powercat Financial Counseling
www.k-state.edu/pfc

Save Hundreds While Buying Textbooks

As the Spring semester is quickly approaching, students will begin to start thinking about the supplies needed for their classes. According to the College Board, the average student will spend more than $1,200 on textbooks and supplies, per year. This number is outrageous for students who are already paying a large amount on other school expenses. The bad thing is, the costs of new textbooks and supplies aren’t going to be going down in the near future. So what can we do to keep some of the money spent in our pockets? I encourage you to consider the following to improve your awareness of the other options that are out there.

  1. Buy Used

You will want to begin looking for used books as soon as possible, because they usually sell fast. Start by going to your local bookstores, to see if there are any used options available. If not, first check online before you immediately buy a brand new book. One great thing about new books is the fact that they’ll most always be available.

  1. Buy Only What You Need

One thing that I have begun to realize, is that not all required books are really required. One way to find this out is to ask around, maybe a friend has taken the class before and says it’s not worth the money. Another option you have is to give it a few class periods to see if the instructor will be making the textbook a priority.

  1. Buy and Sell

If you are forced into buying a textbook at full-price, always remember to put it back on the market after you are finished using it. You might not get all of the money you spent, but maybe it’s enough to cover a book or two the following semester.

  1. Consider Renting

Another great buying option that you could take advantage of is renting instead of buying. First, check your local bookstores to see if they offer this. If they don’t, search online because there are a lot of places that let you rent a book for a semester instead of buying it. This could definitely be a very cheap option for you.

School is expensive. Everyone should try their hardest to save as much money as possible. Taking into consideration these buying options, are just a few of the ways you can cut back on your school expenses. This time, when the new semester rolls around, I hope you have the knowledge think twice about buying a brand new textbook.

Be sure to visit Powercat Financial Counseling for a free and confidential peer-to-peer consultation to make sure your finances are on track for the upcoming semester.  Visit our website at www.ksu.edu/pfc to schedule an appointment.

Nolan Keim
Peer Counselor I
Powercat Financial Counseling
www.k-state.edu/pfc

 

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