Frugal Back-to-School Saving TipsChantal Gingras
I know! Yes, I know! I chose to talk about the next back-to-school period while the current school year is not even finished yet. If I actually address this topic as early as on this 16th of June, it is because, during back-to-school time, many families tend to get heavily into debt. School supplies, backpacks, lunch boxes, footwear, clothing, electronic devices, etc. Everything adds up and can easily represent an expense of $500 per child. The following are a few tips for frugal back-to-school savings that may help you avoid getting too deep into debt.
Set money aside
Such annual expenses being recurrent, it is possible to better anticipate their amount and to plan accordingly. You could go to your bank, open a savings account and start making regular deposits to have some money aside for back-to-school. A deposit of $10 each week will suffice to accumulate $520 per year, which will therefore be available to cover some back-to-school expenditures.
Make an inventory of any reusable school supplies
When the school year of your children is completed, make an inventory of their remaining school supplies. Sort these articles to set apart any items that may be used during the next school year.
Make a list of the missing items to be purchased
Studies show that parents who do their back-to-school shopping without a list spend on average 23% more than others.
Upon receiving the list of required supplies from the school, compare it with your inventory of reusable items. Make a list of the missing items to be purchased, and make sure to stick to it. Retailers have become experts in the art of encouraging over-consumption through merchandising techniques and eye-catching signs. Avoid the temptation!
Get your children involved
Review the list of items to be purchased with your children. Make sure that they clearly understand that you will only buy the items mentioned on this list. By doing so, you will decrease the likelihood for them to ask you to buy everything they see. Not to mention that, if they do, it will be easier for you to say “No”.
Buy only the strict minimum
It is often possible to achieve savings once the back-to-school shopping frenzy is finished. Therefore, buy only the strict minimum at the beginning of the school year. You will always have the chance to purchase the rest when the stores start having sales. Given the fact that your children will use left-over supplies from the previous school year, you will have the adequate time to do so.
Sales are also a valuable opportunity to make provisions for subsequent school years. Each year, your children will need pencils, erasers and lined paper sheets. Therefore you might as well build a reserve of such items while their price is reduced.
Set up a clothing budget
Back-to-school is a great time to help your children learn about the importance of budget management. Start by setting up a budget and making the list of clothes to be purchased. Then shop around with your kids but let them try to balance their budget while getting everything on the list. Through this experience, they will earn valuable shopping experience. They’ll find out that there are price differences between branded and unbranded clothes and between stores. They will also come to realize that we all have choices to make when considering a purchase if we are to stick to our budget.
Seek help if you are facing serious debt problems
Some families who are facing serious debt problems struggle to purchase necessary school supplies at the beginning of the school year. If you are under the impression that you will be sucked deeper into debt when it’s back-to-school time again, start seeking help today. You have too many bills to pay? Has your wage been garnished? Thankfully, there are ways to get out of debt. Do not hesitate to contact the professionals at Ginsberg Gingras. They will help you to find the most appropriate solution for your situation.