Let’s face it – an MBA is an expensive thing to do. Once you’re into an MBA program, one of the first lessons you’ll learn is that small cost-cutting activities can go a long way. From an accounting perspective, as a student, cutting $100 from your costs is just the same as adding $100 to your profit. Here are some ways to get great value on some of the essentials you’ll appreciate as an MBA student.
Vistaprint – Business Cards
Vistaprint.com is an online print house that offers full-color printing on 250 matte-finish business cards for free. (You pay only for shipping and handling.) They do put their logo on the back of the card, but for $4.00 you can get that removed.
SFU’s Graduate Business Programs include a box of university-branded cards as part of the tuition fees, but if you’re looking for something more personalized, check out VistaPrint. Business cards are absolutely mandatory for any job seeker, as they are a networker’s currency. While having the SFU branded business cards is great, having your own cards for particular targeted industry events can be very helpful to establish your personal brand.
If you’re in need of book titles that have been around a while and don’t want to spend a fortune, check out Thriftbooks. It’s an online bookstore with reasonable prices and great selection. They’ve also just announced that domestic shipping in the US is free, and shipping rates to Canada have been reduced.
Many of these books are recycled from library systems or bookstores, so it’s unlikely that you’ll find your current edition accounting textbook here. This said, for classic business books and everyday reading, Thriftbooks is tough to beat. Be sure to check out our MBA Booklist, a list of must-read books for MBA students and prospects, selected by the A Few Good Minds team.
I don’t normally go for services that involve a monthly fee, but Last.fm is the best $3 USD I spend each month. It’s a service that lets you create an ad-free online ‘radio station’ based on up to three artists or genres you select. I find it surprisingly comprehensive and accurate, and best of all, unlike some other online radio stations, it’s fully available in Canada.
Want some New Zealand reggae-influenced hip-hop while you work on a big PowerPoint? No problem. Maybe some lyric-free jazz to get you through a long study night? Done. If you’re a typical MBA student who spends more hours in front of the computer than sleeping, give this service a try. For $3, I’ll gladly give up one trip to Starbucks for 30 days of great tunes.
Do you have any other great money saving tips for Graduate Business Students? Free networking ideas, maybe even ways to pick up a bit of revenue? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.