The best things in life are free…and so are these tips on great deals you should take advantage of.

Let's face it, pursuing a post-secondary degree is expensive. The costs of tuition, textbooks, transportation, not to mention living expenses, can add up very quickly. Although the end result of obtaining a degree makes the investment worthwhile, the financial aspect of student life isn't very appealing. As a perpetual poor student, I'm always looking for ways to save some money. Below is my list of tips, tricks, and freebies that any student can take advantage of. If you have money saving tips for students, don't forget to share your ideas in the comment section below.

  1. Save on Textbooks: The best way to save money on your textbooks is to shop around and shop early. You can get a list of all the textbooks you will require by visiting the York University Bookstore website. Using your list, you can search the websites of different retailers to see which one offers your textbooks for the best price. Try the York University Bookstore, The Discount Bookstore, Amazon, Chapters Indigo, and even the textbook publisher's website. Right now the York University Bookstore has some amazing deals for students, including a contest to win back the money you spend on your textbooks. Other options for saving money on textbooks include renting your books, buying used books from previous students, and using reserved copies that are available at the library. Just make sure to check that the textbook edition you are using is the same as, or at least compatible to, the textbook your professor requires.

  1. Free Software: ACMAPS Director Brian Poser found this great article on free software for cash strapped students. I personally love one of the products listed in the article, Apache Open Office, and I use it as a free alternate productivity suite to my iWorks software. Other free products listed in the article include software for backing up your files such as Microsoft SkyDrive, and photo-editing software like GIMP. Click here to check out the article.

  2. Cheap Entertainment: As a poor student my budget for entertainment is typically the most anemic. That's why I'm always searching for new ways to have fun for the least amount of money. Some of the entertainment deals I love include discounted admission prices to the Royal Ontario Museum on Friday evenings, free general admission to the Art Gallery of Ontario on Wednesday evenings, free public viewings at the York Observatory on Wednesday evenings, and $4 public skating at Canlan Ice Sports. If you're a movie buff, visit the Sound and Moving Images Library located in Scott Library for free DVD rentals with your YU Card. The library has a great selection of Hollywood blockbusters, documentaries, and classics. Look for your favourite movie using the search library resources tool. Who knows, this might be a reason to cancel your Netflix subscription.There are also tons of entertaining events that happen at York University throughout the year, and most of them are free. Whether you are interested in attending a sporting event, movie screenings, gallery showings, group meet-ups, or parties; there is always something happening at York. Keep an eye out for posters advertising events on campus, or visit the YU Connect website for up to date information on events at York.


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