Back to school is a great time of year. A time of new beginnings, a time of fresh hopes and wishes and for some, a time of financial hardship. Don’t let back to school catch you off guard this year with these 5 quick tips:
- Clothing: Purchase staple items such as jeans, plain coloured shirts and khakis. Jazz up outfits with accessories and a few nice pairs of shoes. Definitely be sure to check out local consignment shops and thrift stores. Save clothing from older children to pass down to younger children. Remember that the latest $100 pair of jeans is not a need but a want and find compromises!
- Supplies: Take advantage of great back to school sales in stores and online. Amazon, Walmart, Office Depot, Target & Staples all have fantastic back to school sales around this time of year. Scour the internet for coupons and deals and refuse to pay full price!
- Tuition and Fees: Even kids in public school have to front some cash at the start of the year. Start planning for these fees now and set a bit more away each week so you aren’t caught off guard.
- Food: Will you let them buy their lunch? Or will they brown bag it? Typically brown bagging it is your best bet to save money. To make an ordinary lunch extra special, sneak in a sweet note for the little ones or add some change for a soft drink for your older children.
- Activities: With the school year starting up, you can expect extracurricular activities to start picking back up as well. Extracurricular activities can really be pricey. After you purchase the supplies and pay the fees, you could be out a small fortune! Purchase gear, instruments, uniforms second hand if possible and in some cases you might be able to simply rent. Look over all of your options and weigh the pros & cons.
With some planning and some strategic shopping, back to school doesn’t have to mean financial disaster. What do you do to lessen the burden of back to school?