10 techy ways to cut the costs of college

Summary:10 simple, easy ways to cut down the techy costs of college and university - from cloud storage to investing in a decent smartphone, and 'pay as you go' e-book downloads.

After spending four years at my university, I have come to realise how much money I have all but literally flushed down the loo because of my unwise choices with choosing technology.

But there are a few tricks up my sleeve still, as I prepare to take my final exams in May and leave my undergraduate years behind.

1. Invest in a smartphone with a good data plan so not only your social life can fall into one device, but also hardware features too, like a decent camera and a music player.

2. E-books are often cheaper than their paper equivalent and in some cases are stored in the cloud for on-demand access.

3. Don't forget second hand books on Amazon are also a way to find extremely cheap books at a fraction of the price.

4. Download large content on campus where bandwidth restrictions are usually non-existent. It's very easy to bust that monthly download limit at home, especially with fellow students sharing your house.

5. Take advantage of free Wi-Fi when you can to alleviate the 'pressure' on your data plan. But if you are using someones free wireless network in a cafe or coffee house, get a brew out of politeness.

6. 'Pay as you go' as much as you can and take advantage of the student discount you have. Your student email alone should grant you access to cheap software, sometimes available by your academic department.

7. Netbooks are easier on your wallet than tablets, laptops or desktops. They will last longer and do everything you need them to do. So why splash out on something when you clearly don't need to?

8. Television on the web might be cheaper than you think. Even catching up on on-demand services instead of paying for the TV licence in the UK would already save out $200.

9. Take the free cloud storage services like Dropbox instead of paying for dozens of flash drives or expensive solid-state drives.

10. Black and white laser printers can be huge and bulky but they will last you an incredibly long time. While it may not be cheaper than a deskjet printer, consider this as an investment, seeing as universities often charge you even more to print on campus.

What other money saving tips do you have up your sleeve?

Topics: Cloud, Amazon, Hardware, Laptops, Printers, Smartphones, Tablets, Web development, Wi-Fi

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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