Stay on top of back to school costs without overextending their finances.

It’s coming down to the last few weeks of summer, you are still struggling to purchase the 20 supplies on your child’s school book list, and you have yet to purchase school uniforms. How does every parent stay on top of these back to school costs without overextending their finances? Here are some smart ways to keep on track of your budget for your back to school expenses. 

Split-up spending

Instead of shopping for all your child's supplies at once, save money at the same time by spreading out purchases over a few weeks. Completing your spending in smaller chunks, helps you to start shopping early, and gives you time to get ready for the numerous shopping trips. Splitting your spending over several pay cheques is also a great way to stay on budget. In this way, you can spend smaller amounts of money during one shopping trip instead of waiting until the last minute and ending up with a huge shopping bill and items you don’t need.

Keep in line with your priorities

Create a back to school list to keep track of what’s needed versus what’s nice to have. A nice way of getting your children involved in the back to school shopping is to sit with them to create a personal shopping list of items that’s needed for school. This is your opportunity to help your child distinguish needs from wants. This is not only a good way to pass on your expert budgeting and money management skills to your children, but it also teaches them to prioritize.

Reuse and Reduce

 Consider purchasing second-hand books and supplies. Many parents sell their old school books online or through social media and this is a great way to check off your school book list for half the cost. Reducing cost by passing down uniforms and reusing stationery from older siblings to younger ones is another smart budgeting technique.

Hunt for Savings and Deals

Be on the lookout for the big back-to-school sales and go to school and uniform supply stores early. Even the big stores can sell out of books, uniforms and other supplies at the last minute. Back to school happens every year so if you take the time to prepare for this year, you can use these same techniques next time around. Keep track of the budget you build this year and use that as a basis for next year; but anticipate different school needs. Also, use this time to plan for the next stages of your children’s education.

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