It’s back-to-school time! The days are growing shorter, and the early mornings carry a crisp, cold air. Here are a few tips to make purchasing your child’s back-to-school supplies less burdensome and to avoid accruing debt on your credit card.
Tip #1 – Plan Ahead
The cost of school supplies tends to rise, and predicting the expenses can be challenging depending on when your child’s school releases the supply list. Reviewing last year’s expenses can offer a rough estimate for the upcoming year. However, if this is your first-time buying supplies, some research is needed to establish a baseline. Create a back-to-school fund in your savings plan, where even saving $10 from each biweekly paycheck could accumulate to $260 in a year for school supplies.
Tip #2 – Distribute the Cost
If you have a larger family, making a single lump sum purchase for all the school supplies can strain your budget. Consider distributing the expenses across multiple paychecks. For instance, if you have multiple children, acquire the supplies for each child after every paycheck.
Tip #3 – Leverage Technology for Convenient Shopping
Major retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target have pre-selected school supply lists available. Simply visit their websites, enter your zip code, and choose your child’s school. However, please note that not all schools or grade levels might be included in these lists.
Tip #4- Reuse Last Year’s Supplies
At the conclusion of the school year, make sure to empty your child’s backpack and identify any items that can be repurposed or reused, such as scissors, crayons, erasers, and more. If any of these items are already listed as needed for the upcoming school year, this practice could potentially result in a small cost-saving measure for you.
Tip #5 Dollar Store
Consider stopping by your local Dollar Store for any last-minute additions you might need. This can prove to be a valuable option that not only offers convenience but could also lead to cost savings.
Keep in mind that effective back-to-school spending requires planning ahead. If you follow these practical tips, the back-to-school experience can be less burdensome and more enjoyable.