Back-to-School Budgeting TipsSubmitted by Agrawal Associates on August 23rd, 2018
August 22, 2018
As the days of summer grow shorter, we start to think about September, and the changes that a new season can bring. Fall is all about new beginnings – fresh routines and more structure, especially for families with kids heading back to school.
Money can be a major stressor for parents this time of year. Sending kids to school is expensive when considering the cost of supplies, clothing, electronics, and sporting equipment. Spend smarter with these budget-friendly back-to-school tips!
1. Do your research
Before you budget, anticipate all the costs of the year ahead. Don’t be caught off guard by expenses like special field trips, extra-curricular activities, school photos, and fundraisers. Teachers and other parents will be able to provide insight on these types of fees.
2. Be a savvy consumer
August is the best time to catch some good deals, which are especially good before school starts. Buy in bulk for the entire year and don’t forget to scope out deals online. Do a quick inventory of your home office to avoid buying duplicate items, and only purchase the things on your “must-have” list.
3. Use gift cards and coupons
If you know you’ll be spending most of your money at popular stores, be sure to check out sites that offer to purchase unwanted cards from people and then re-sell them at a discounted rate. It’s an effortless way to save 5-25% on purchases, and even more when paired with coupons or online codes.
4. Pack lunches
Homemade lunches are a great way to save money throughout the school year. It requires more effort, but it’s healthier for your kids and for your pocketbook. If you were to treat your child with lunch money once a week – let’s say at $7.00 per lunch – instead of every day, you could save more than $1000 over the school year.
5. Teach kids about budgeting
Back-to-school is the perfect opportunity to teach kids the value of a dollar. Set a limit for each child, and then help them shop within their given budget. Your kids will learn the art of balancing expensive wants with basic needs for a well-rounded approach to back-to-school. If your child has their heart set on something in particular, tell them to start saving for it, and consider matching what they’ve saved at the end of summer.
Start thinking about what your family will need for September well in advance. With a little budget planning and preparation, back-to-school can be fun and rewarding for your whole family and keep your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.