Beat the Back to School Budget Blues
Near the end of every summer, parents face one of their largest single expenses: getting their kids ready for a new school year. While parents extend budgets for children’s clothes and school supplies, they often forget to plan ahead in the process. Some important things to remember for smart back-to-school shopping:
Create a budget. When preparing a back-to-school budget, start by taking a thorough inventory of what you already have and develop a budget for what you still need. Then, list each item in priority, from most to least important. By having a prioritized, budgeted shopping list, it can be trimmed easily by cutting from the bottom.
Keep your perspective. While everyone wants their child to look their best, try to remember that kids get dirty, grow quickly and are very hard on clothes. Consider alternatives to local malls, by visiting discount stores, outlet malls, and/or resale shops. Remember, check with your child’s school on dress code policies before purchasing any clothing.
Save on school supplies. Shopping the “back-to-school” section at an expensive retailer may be convenient, however comparing prices with lower priced outlets and office supply stores could save you money. Keep in mind that each teacher will have their own requirements so have your supply list in hand prior to making any purchases.
Shopping with less is always a challenge, but with planning and forethought, you can prepare your children for another school year without breaking the family budget.
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This content was last modified on: 04/29/2011