Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash | back to school essentials
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Back to school time can be exciting for some, but for many students, it’s more likely a day you’re dreading. The freedom of summer is over and the overload of classwork is about to begin. Your relaxed, tan self, gives way to a pale, over-caffeinated ball of stress.

Not only can back to school time be the mother of all Sunday scaries, but the first day of the semester also means your tuition bills come due. So, not only are you in for a load of work, but you’re also paying a ton of money for it. And now you, broke college student, are left to scrape together what you may have left into “living expenses.”

If this all seems a bit doom and gloom, remember what else college includes. It’s back to hanging out with your friends because you all live together. It’s parties, concerts, and expanding your horizons. But, it’s not just about school, it’s about finding balance. And you shouldn’t have to hold yourself back from any of that, regardless of expenses. So here are some back to school essentials to make your dollar stretch as far as you can.

5 back to school essentials for any broke college student

1) Buy used textbooks (and sell them later)

back to school essentials

Gone are the days when your elementary school teacher would send you a “back to school essentials” list of all the supplies you’d need for the year. Supplies which you’d then go out and dutifully purchase, only to end up with a pile of unused things at the end of the year. Yet the college equivalent still exists: textbooks. But instead of buying them through the “official” bookstore where they try and gouge you, buy a used book in an exchange (like on eBay’s, then go back there at the end of the semester and sell the book to someone else in need. That way you only pay for when you use it. It’s a bit more work, but it’s worth it.

2) Coffeemaker

back to school essentials

If you’re buying coffee every day at a fancy coffee shop, or even worse buying terrible coffee from an on-campus shop charging fancy coffee shop prices, you’re wasting a ton of money. If you take a bit of time to brew your own coffee, it’ll save you so much money. And even if you can’t quit your expensive coffee taste, buying the fancy beans and doing it yourself is still much cheaper.

3) Join a club

back to school essentials

Not only will you potentially be expanding your circle and doing your future job prospects a favor (seriously), but these clubs are usually supported by the college financially. So at least some of that money you’re spending on your education will be coming back into your pocket. Maybe put on a few events with plenty of food. And don’t forget to keep the leftovers.

4) Track your money

back to school essentials

Without a ton of money, your finances aren’t going to be terribly complicated. But no list of back to school essentials would be complete without this advice: it’s good to know what you are spending money on in broad categories like food, clothing, entertainment, … ahem… “incidentals,” and other such expenses. And it’s easier than ever now with apps that can help you track that.

5) Student discounts

back to school essentials

For some of us, it’s knowing the local museum will let you in for free with your student ID. For others of us, it’s knowing when the dive bar around the corner does student dollar shot nights. But no matter what your particular inclination, there are discounts all over for students, you just got to know where to look (and how to strategically deploy that sweet .edu email address you’ve got).

At Jukely, for those of us who need to see concerts in college, we’re proud to introduce our new student discount tier! If you sign up for an account on the app (iOS / Android) with an .edu email address, you’ll have the option to purchase either our Jukely Student Subscription or our Jukely Student +1 Subscription at a discounted price.

Not only that, but for a limited time to celebrate our launch, if you purchase a student subscription, the first month is on us.

Download the Jukely app, available on iOS and Android, to learn more.