• The Definitive Guide to Back to School Budgeting

    The Definitive Guide to Back to School Budgeting

    The Importance of Back to School Budgeting

    Between tuition, essential school supplies, and new clothes for growing kids, the back-to-school season can present a financial squeeze for parents. A helpful method to deal with these new expenses is to list and budget these costs before they hit. Below you’ll find helpful tips for back to school budgeting to make your dollar go farther this season.

    If your child is returning to a sport or activity from a previous year, this can be a simple place to start.  Recount the costs of previous activities and study any areas where money may be saved. For example, older students may have lightly used items or equipment that they are willing to part with or sell for a fraction of the cost. If there are younger siblings in your family, you already know the drill: it’s hand-me-down time!

    Be Smart with your Supplies

    When it comes to basic school supplies, plan ahead. Take inventory of last year’s supplies to see what can be re-used.  If your child’s teacher provided a list at the end of the year, use this to gauge new costs.

    Try buying basic supplies like paper, pencils, and notebooks in bulk. Dollar stores, warehouse stores, and even eBay are useful sources for bulk purchasing. Negotiating a group discount with a local office supply store for you and other parents is another viable option.

    Tax-Free Weekend

    Many states have one tax-free weekend in August, overlapping with the period when many back-to-school sales typically occur. Although the sales in August may seem amazing, the month of September can actually be a better bet for items like school supplies. After Labor Day, a lot of big retail chains will want to get rid of remaining stock and slash their prices to do so, so don’t worry if you miss one or two August sales (just don’t miss ours – the best deals are happening NOW!).

    Bargain Hunt for Clothing

    For clothing, sort through what your child already has and take note of what is needed. You can get great deals here at CookiesKids.com, of course, but if you’re looking for additional ways to save, search for thrift stores in your area. Your child or teen may be thrilled to rock some vintage threads.

    Another tactic to save money for the whole school year? Buy winter clothing in April, and summer clothing in September. If you can estimate your child’s size for a few months away, you can save a LOT from stores seeking to sell last season’s items at a discount.

    If your family’s financial situation is more vulnerable, you or your child’s school might consider seeking support from organizations and donation centers like Operation Backpack or Kids In Need. These organizations are also a great place to volunteer and get your children involved with helping others.

    Got back to school budgeting tips to add? Post in the comments below!

    seneca-iscove

    Seneca A. Iscove is a blogger and frequent contributor to CookiesKids.com. Born and raised in NYC, she affiliates with other fairies and Jedi on the never-ending quest to find the perfect time to write. A mass media enthusiast and truth seeker, Seneca admits that she likes cookies-but prefers birthday cake!

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