Top 5 tips for back-to-school on a budget

For students and parents alike, heading back to school is a highly anticipated and exciting time. It’s a chance for new beginnings – an opportunity for students to get a clean start, and for parents to hit the reset button (not to mention, getting the kids out of the house).

Whether a freshman in high school or a freshmen in college, there’s no better way to start the school year than having the confidence in knowing that you’re armed with all the stuff it takes to succeed. From fashion, to supplies, to technology – this confidence often comes at a high price. In fact, the National Retail Federation reports that due to an increased demand for electronics, families will spend an average of $699.28 this back to school season (that’s up five percent from last year), with millennials spending $913 million of their own money.

The days when all students need for back to school is a pack of No. 2 pencils, a few spiral notebooks, and a backpack are long gone. More than ever, students and parents rely on the latest technology to keep up with the pace that school and life demands.

Back to school

To help get Back to School 2014 started on the right foot without breaking the bank, we’ve put together five valuable tips that are guaranteed to get you the most out of your technology and your education this year.

  1. Get Office 365 University: $79.99 USD for a four-year subscription

At just $1.67 per month, college and university students can’t afford not to get Office 365 University. Get the latest Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook) for two devices, including PCs, Macs, iPads, or Windows tablets. A subscription also includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage, and 60 minutes of Skype PC-to-phone world calling per month. 

  1. Download OneNote: Free app for most popular computers, tablets, and phones and on the web

This year, make OneNote the single place for all your notes and information. With this digital notebook you can type, handwrite, paste and insert class notes and research anywhere, and organize them in notebooks and sections that are automatically saved and searchable. Additionally, it’s easy to share and collaborate with classmates for team projects and group assignments. 

  1. Keep it in OneDrive: Free app for most popular computers, tablets, and phones and on the web

Here are five reasons to cross that USB-drive off your shopping list and use OneDrive:  1) You get 15 GB of cloud storage for free; 2) You can’t lose OneDrive; 3) You can easily store and share photos, videos, documents, and more; 4) You can access OneDrive on any device; 5) You get 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage with an Office 365 Home or University subscription. 1 TB is the equivalent to approximately 50,000 trees made into paper and printed. That’s a lot of trees! 

  1. Use Office Online: Free on the web

Who said nothing in life is free? Office Online offers free web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that let you create, view, edit, and share documents, spreadsheets, presentations and notes. The best part is, no one needs an Office 365 subscription to work together on a team projects. With Office Online, students can collaborate on group assignments more easily, and parents can share the carpool schedule without having to send bulky attachments. 

  1. Take the Acer Aspire Switch 10 to class: $349 USD

Not only does this device save you some serious cash, it’s the ultimate convertible of PCs. Rain or shine, it can be used in four modes – use it as a tablet, notebook or put it in tent mode to watch movies, or give a presentation. Not to mention, it’s compact and sleek so you can rest assured you got good looking device at a screaming deal.

Whether you have a $699.28 budget to spend on technology for back to school, or you already blew your entire budget on the latest fashion – know that Office is here to help make sure you have everything you need to succeed this year, and that you look good.

Good luck students, and good luck parents!

—Jevon Fark, Office Team