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Back-to-School Shopping: Budgeting 101

back to school budgeting tips

When it comes to back-to-school shopping, everyone is after big savings and great deals. To help you beat the crowds and the costs, we’ve compiled a few tips on how to get everything your student needs, and save some cash (and stress) along the way. Class starts now!

Early Bird Gets the…Pencils. Like other major shopping projects, it’s best to start early. Grab a few things here and there throughout the summer and school year. You’ll save yourself a lot anxiety by avoiding the crowds and inflated prices that come with waiting until the last minute. Extra points: Make an inventory of what you have at home that can be re-used from last year, then hit aisles with an extra-focused list.

Bring the Kids. Utilize your back-to-school outing as a chance to educate your children about budgeting and money management, with prime real-life examples to back your lessons. You can teach them how to research deals before you hit the stores or have them practice math by adding prices, all while teaching them the difference between needs and wants and the benefits of planning and organization. What’s more, you can deploy them to be in charge of couponing and the checklist. A little extra help is always nice, right?

Blast from the Past. Yes, hand-me-downs. They’re fantastic. They save you money by preventing you from buying new, unnecessary items, and might earn you some cash, too! After finishing your thorough inventory, send any extra clothes or supplies to the local thrift store, or even put them up in a garage sale or friendly trade with some neighbors. Keep in mind any future needs as well. Have some younger kids who could use those their older brother’s tennis shoes in the coming years? Stay aware and you could be saving money for years to come!

The World Wise Web. The Internet can be a great benefit to your shopping needs if you use it the right way. Many online retailers will often offer deals for the back-to-school season, like free shipping or BOGOs. Also remember that many physical locations do online price-matching these days as well. Love a pair of shoes in-store that you found for 20% less online? Print that baby out and bring it in—you’ll be surprised at how many stores will work with you.

There you have it, savvy savers. Now you can update that resume to add “savvy shopper,” and hit the aisles effectively. Be sure to check back to our Money Smarts blog for more budgeting tips, and have a wonderful school year!

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