Starting college is terribly expensive. On top of extortionate tuition fees and the rising cost of living, there is also all the course materials, day to day essentials and homeware you need to buy. Even if you are studying an online course such as online doctoral nursing programs and you don’t have to move away from home, you may be faced with an expensive commute to work placements or a desire to give your wardrobe a more professional look. With costs mounting, a great way to save is to buy as much as you can second-hand.

Course Books

Text books can get very expensive, especially if you’ve got a long reading list or you study a very specialized subject. Fortunately, the books tutors assign tend to stay the same for at least a few years and graduating students are often happy to sell theirs to gain a little extra money. Just double check that there have been no significant changes to future prints.

When it comes to books, those you read for pleasure can also be bought much more cheaply second-hand.


Clothing is another essential that can get very expensive, and even more so if you are away from home for the first time and trying to discover your style. Vintage is always trendy, so heading to a thrift store or buying online could actually make you incredibly fashionable.

Another great option when it comes to saving money on clothing is making or customizing your own. Buy cheap materials from markets and traders or clothes from thrift stores and spend some time creating your own outfits. There are plenty of designs and templates online to help you. If you are a student of a nurse practitioner doctorate degree, you may have lots of old nursing uniforms that you can do a lot with.


Student rooms are often dull and boring as they have to be kept neutral. So, have a look around some charity stores and online auction sites to see what home décor items you can find. You can often get absolute bargains at yard sales, especially if someone is moving house. While you may not have space for large furniture, smaller items, soft furnishings and decorative pieces can easily make your student room look much homelier.


Appliances such as TVs, DVDs, games consoles, and small kitchen appliances such as blenders and toasters are often sold when their owners upgrade. In many cases, there is nothing wrong with these items and they can make a useful addition to your room. When it comes to appliances, a basic rule is to look for offers and second-hand options before you commit to buy full price.

Fancy Dress

Fancy dress nights out are unbelievably popular with students. But, when there’s a different theme for every party or night out it can get very expensive. If you want to save money without missing out on the fun, see what you can buy second hand or make outfits yourself. Remember to always save these outfits for the next event.

There are some fantastic sources of second-hand goods out there including online auction sites, thrift stores, vintage stores, charity shops and yard sales. So, before you buy anything new, shop around to see what is available.