The summer is quickly coming to a close and schools all over the country will be opening in the weeks ahead. From knowing what you already have to taking advantage of tax holidays, here are 5 simple ways to save on all of your back to school needs:
1. Take inventory. We usually do ourselves more financial harm than good by running out and buying every school supply we can find. If you found them on sale, wonderful. But wouldn’t it be more wonderful to not waste money, no matter how small or insignificant the amount on stuff your kids don’t even need? Before you go anywhere, take inventory of what you already have and of what you may actually need. Many households already have the paper and pens that kids need to start the school year. So check what’s lying around on shelves and in drawers before buying piles more.
In addition, check your kids’ closets to figure out what they can still wear and use and what actually does needs to be replaced. In most regions, the weather is still extremely warm until late September. Some summer clothing can be worn with no problem the first several weeks of school. Remember, this isn’t about all the stuff the kids want; it’s about what they need and what you can afford!
2. Make a budget. This will help you stay focused on the back to school shopping list you created after taking stock of what you already own. As you know, most retailers try to jump in on the “Back to School” festivities whether they really cater to students or not. Don’t get side-tracked by gimmicks. Use your inventory list to design a budget and stick to that budget at all costs. If you end up saving even more than you anticipated, then great, you have money left over to go towards saving or maybe even paying off your own student loan debt! Don’t get tricked into spending it on unnecessary items.