Back to School Financial Tips
The month of August is the perfect time to reflect on the great summer we have enjoyed and to begin the transition to the fall months which include the opening of schools. Although the opening of school is approached with great anticipation, often the economic struggles associated with it can be challenging. The need for school supplies and clothing alone can cause turmoil to your budget in a hurry. Listed below are some ideas that may assist you in managing your back-to-school financial “woes.”
- Before you buy “new,” check to see what you already have at home. We often find ourselves spending money on items that we already have. For example, the “old” calculator from last year will probably work just fine.
- Shop around online prior to going to the store. See who has the best “deals” and plan your shopping accordingly. How many times have we purchased something at the store because we were there, only to see the same item cheaper elsewhere?
- On big ticket items (i.e. laptop computers etc.), ask about discounted demo products. A store will often discount items that have been on display. Be sure the same warranty is in effect prior to buying.
- Wait for supply lists to be issued from the school or contact your child’s teacher to find out what supplies are needed. This helps avoid purchasing unnecessary supplies.
- Shop in late fall for items that can be used the following school year. When the fall comes to a close, items like book bags are often marked down in price.
- Begin saving now for next year. Set aside some money each month in preparation for next year.
- Don’t charge it. If you are unable to pay off your credit card monthly, do your best not to charge it.
- Buy in bulk. As an example, great savings can be found when purchasing something like lunch snacks in bulk.
- Look for sales. Two pairs of shoes for the price of one are often the way to go, especially if your child is prone to be hard on shoes.
- Make tuition payments on time. Many schools charge late fees, which can add up to a substantial sum of money over a period of time.
Implementing some or all of these ideas might be all that is needed to help eliminate the financial difficulties you may be facing this school year. Don’t let your finances overshadow the joy of these important years.