Don’t Let Back to School Bust Your Budget
Summer fun is probably not over for the kids but heading back to school is just a few weeks away. The return to school means a return to spending for parents. In grades K-12, parents are expected to spend an average of $597 on back-to-school expenses per child. You're not alone if that number seems overwhelming to you.
Before you head to the store or shop online, prioritize your expenses and plan your spending. Having a plan and being organized will help you save money and avoid overspending or forgetting things.
Setting kids up for success in the classroom is important, so school supplies are a must.
One strategy to help reduce costs is using a mix of what you have and new.
- Gather all the school supplies you have on hand, including pencils, notebooks, scissors, backpacks, gym bags, and lunch boxes.
- Clear it out items like dried glue, unused supplies, or backpacks children have outgrown.
- Use the supplies you already own to fill out the school supply list.
- You can now create a list of school supplies you must buy.
- Seek out store deals and utilize coupons to get the best deals.
Another common expense is clothing and shoes.
- Make sure school and fall clothes and shoes fit by going through closets and dressers.
- Get rid of items that are worn out, the wrong size, not worn, or out of season. Children (and parents) will have less stress getting ready in the morning if their closets are decluttered and well-organized.
- Plan to alter or repair items.
- Create your shopping list after inventorying each person's apparel needs and size(s).
Remember to factor in hidden costs associated with back-to-school. Hidden costs may include:
- Water bottles, snacks, and lunch accounts.
- After-school activities, band and sports equipment, or activity passes.
- Sports physicals, dental checkups, doctor checkups, and immunizations.
- Haircuts and hygiene products for personal grooming.
Preparing for back-to-school can still be accomplished with planning! With a list in hand, you can spread purchases over several paychecks, utilize coupons and store deals, shop for free or used items, and avoid overspending.