It is that time of year again. The annual back to school shopping season has begun and without warning, shopping for the kids can easily become a budget buster if you’re not careful. Here are 10 ways to keep more cash in your pocket this fall.
1. Plan your trip in advance. When you plan out what you are going to buy before going shopping, this will help in not making unnecessary purchases. One of the key items is to buy needs instead of wants. One website reported that teachers prefer that students only have what they need and not the latest gadgets that will be distracting in class. The other main key is to stick to what you are going to buy.
2. Cash is King! Studies show when purchases are made with plastic instead of cash, consumers will spend 12-18% more. Using cash it is another tool to help you stay within your budget.
3. Do not wait until the last minute! A lot of us can be great procrastinators and that can cause a lot of additional stress when school shopping. Set out a specific date and time for school shopping and give yourself a few week cushion. Spending will more likely stay under control when you have more time to look for bargains and you aren’t rushed to buy everything at once.
4. Bring your children. Have your children try on their back to school clothes at the store. This will prevent extra trips back and forth. Also, this gives them the opportunity to pick out their own backpack and other supplies.
5. Buy in bulk. Everyone knows when you buy in bulk you purchase items at a discount, but have you thought of applying this to school supplies? This should help you for when you need to reload your children’s supplies half way through the year and you may be able to use the following year.
6. Organize. Make it a priority this year to organize all of your school supplies. Doing this you may be able to save future shopping trips throughout the year and possibly even for the next school year.
7. Reuse. Anything you have left over from previous years go ahead and use it again. Usually, it is not worth having to buy it all over again anyway.
8. Back to school swaps. Have you ever thought about swapping clothes and school supplies that you are not using with a mom that has children that can benefit from what you have? Maybe that same mom has some things that your children could use. This is a great idea to have mother’s bond together in the name of house hold economics
9. Consignment and thrift stores. If you are looking for a place to buy great clothes that will not bust your budget, there is nothing wrong with getting your children some clothes at these stores.
10. Craigslist & Freecycle. These are great places to find deals and maybe even some free items. The lowest price out there is FREE!
We hope utilizing these helpful tips will have positive results in your back to school shopping this year. Need help with your budget? Sign-up for a FREE 30 minute consultation and learn how to take control of your money.