Spending Less For Back To School
Summer may feel like it's just begun but that means nothing to retailers touting their back to school stock. With the inevitable expense looming, how can you make it through this season without spending a fortune?
Patience Is A Virtue
The first tip is to wait. Just because the notebooks and pencils are out doesn't mean it's time to stock up just yet. Upon starting school most children will get lists from teachers on what items they need for the upcoming school year. A good way to avoid buying things you ultimately won't use is to wait for the list and only buy what you need to. Avoid the late panicked trip to the store and your child's scorn for buying the wrong kind of binder.
School supplies and clothing are not in short supply this time of year. Don't just head out to the first store you see, shop around for the best prices. You can easily see each store's sales online to track who has what you need at the best price. If you are in the market for higher ticket items like computers, graphing calculators and other electronics then keep a watchful eye as we head closer and closer to the fall.
Don't Listen To Your Kids (Completely)
According to a survey by the National Retail Federation 65 percent of parents said more than half of their back to school purchases are made because of their child's influence. While you should listen to what you child needs you also need to take into account what they actually need. According to the survey families with kids in elementary school through high school spend around $700 per child on back to school supplies. That's a ton!
A way to mitigate this is to buy a little of what they want and more of what they need. To keep up with their classmates kids want name brands and on-trend styles which is fine in moderation. Grabbing a few of the name brand pieces they want for the school year and getting the rest of their necessities from the Targets and Walmarts of the world is a good compromise that will reduce the stress on your wallet while keeping them happy. Also, just because it's a new school year doesn't mean they necessarily need all new things. If their sneakers are still in good shape and fit what's the logic in buying a new pair right now?
Make A List
Just as you would at Christmas make a list of what you need and stick to it. List-making is one of the best tools to keep you on budget when you are shopping. This will show you exactly what you need to buy and keep you from adding on unnecessary items as you shop.
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