It is that time of the year again when all the kids go back to school. Which also means back to school shopping. You may already be ahead of the game and have started your back to school shopping, or maybe like many you have procrastinated and are looking for those great back to school sales. Between books, clothing, and the massive amount of school supplies, the start of a new school year can be tough on your wallet. Here are some money-saving tips to make a small budget go a long long way.
Take Inventory
Choose a day before you go shopping and go through your kid’s clothes and supplies from previous years. You will be pleasantly surprised to find what is left over. First, prepare an inventory sheet and take account what clothing items your child has. Have your child try on each item and see if you are able to salvage any school clothes or uniforms from previous school years. It should be noted that school supplies do change each year according to a teacher’s preference but if you are like my mom you still kept a lot of the stuff that we did not use from the previous school year. If there are things that you can reuse like pencils, pens, markers, scissors, etc. you can spend more of your budget on things your child might need like a new backpack or lunchbox.
Set a Budget and Stick to it.
It is important to know how much you can spend vs. how much you need to spend. Consider items that are non-negotiable, like the class list of required supplies. Other items such as backpacks, lunch boxes, shoes, or clothing allow for greater flexibility. Taking a look at past spending is a good place to start when creating this year’s budget. Budgets, of course, will vary family to family. The important thing to remember is to spend within your means. Also, do not forget to check last year’s inventory and compare what you need versus what you already have before you hit any stores or websites.
Watch & Wait
Even though tax-free weekend may be over that does not mean the sales and price drops are. According to article Money-Saving Tips for Back to School Shopping, if you can wait until the end of summer do because that is when the prices of generic items like pens, pencils, and notebook drop significantly. Forbes also states that September is also the best time to find good prices on fall clothing. In this instance, for once procrastination actually, pays off.
Back to school is always a hectic time but that is no reason for it to be hard on your wallet. Following these easy steps will not only make it simpler it will save you money in the long run.
Written By: Rebecca Kidd