- August 9, 2019
Its Back-to-school season! That means that parents are feeling the annual pressure on their bank accounts. This time of year can be overwhelming, particularly if you have more than one child. A study revealed that the average child needs about US$700 for back-to-school supplies including writing materials, uniforms and sporting gear.
Before you start looking for a back-to-school parent support group, we’ve come up with some tips and tricks to help you save some money:
Take Stock At Home
Before you buy a single item on that school list, check to see what’s at home first. There’s a pretty good chance your kids did not use all of their supplies from last school year. Also, examine clothing to see which have less wear and tear as these may be reusable.
Balance Brand Name with Basic.
Does your child need all ‘the stars’ on their notebook or would a good old-fashioned black and white notebook do the trick? We think the latter.
And no, your child does not need another new bag with the cute monkey on the side. But we know how it is! Kids are under a lot of pressure to look super cool at school and for some parents, you want your child to “have the best”.
Try this: give your child one splurge item. That can be anything from PE tennis to a super fancy calculator for math class. Use this opportunity to encourage your child to weigh the value they’re receiving from their choice. After their selection occurs, focus on quality rather than brand for the rest of the items. Remember, thrift shops are also an option, primarily for goods such as lunch boxes, pens, pencils, etc.
Join Forces With Other Parents
Start trading items with other parents. Teachers do it all the time. Surely there will be someone with excess glue sticks, and you’re bound to have one too many pencils that another parent can use, thereby reducing both your lists.
Hold Off On Buying Everything
There are two main reasons for this. You tend to get better deals after September rolls around as most stores try to clear their back-to-school clutter through deep discounts. Also, once your kids are a couple of weeks into the school year, it'll be clear that some items aren’t needed after all.
Teach Your Kids While Shopping
Back-to-school shopping is the perfect time to teach budgeting basics to children. It is important to instill proper financial skills into your kids. They need to learn about money too, so don’t think it’s too early to introduce them on how to manage money. Set a budget and make it clear to them that this is all the money they can spend. Guide them through their choices so they can learn the difference between needs and wants. Trust us - they will catch on quickly once they realize that the funds can only stretch so far (and money really doesn’t grow on trees).
Take Advantage Of Your Obligatory Family Vacation
If your family is travelling anyway, this could be a great time to take advantage of lower costs and discounts than you could get at home. Make sure you prioritize back-to-school shopping first so that you don’t get caught up in all the vacation fun and lose out on the opportunity.
Don’t wait until the last minute
This season sneaks up on you fast. Be proactive and begin your back-to-school shopping as soon as possible. Not only does this reduce the stress, but shopping before the back-to-school season officially begins can save you a few dollars. This is based on supply and demand. When demand is high, the price increases. Shopping in the middle of back-to-school season can result in you spending more.
It is possible to save money and have less stress this time of year. It just takes a little finessing and some taking advantage of smart shopping tips.