Fall is just around the corner, and that means many families are preparing for their children to return to the classroom. It also means that these same families are going to have some additional expenses for back to school supplies. This can be a meaningful financial burden, particularly if you already operate on a tight budget. However, by sticking to a few basic principles, you can ensure that you minimize unnecessary expenses while still ensuring your children have everything they need. Continue reading for basic tips on budgeting for back to school expenses.
TRY DISCOUNT STORES AND SUPERMARKETS
The first basic tip is to check out discount stores and supermarkets for back to school purchases. Many people think they need to go to office supply stores, but these can be considerably more expensive. Discount stores and supermarkets will often have back to school deals and bundles that will allow you to purchase much of what you need, all at the same time, all at a great price!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF END-OF-SEASON SALES
Many stores, particularly clothing stores, will offer steep discounts at the end of summer to get rid of leftover inventory as fall approaches. Thus, for back to school clothing needs, this is a prime opportunity to snag great deals. Some stores will have discounts of 50% or more!
STICK TO YOUR SHOPPING LIST
This next tip is extremely important though sometimes hard to put into practice: sticking to your shopping list. Before going shopping for back to school items, make an initial list. Not only will this help you for budgeting purposes since you can see what you expect to purchase, but it will also prevent you from shopping unnecessarily.
That is, many of us have probably gone through the experience where you go into a store with a list of five items and exit the store with ten. While this is completely understandable, it is not the most cost effective, as you can probably imagine. By instead making a list beforehand and sticking to only those items, you can prevent yourself from overspending. And on top of this, if you opt for generic rather than branded supplies, you can save yourself even more money!
BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET!
Last but most certainly not least, it goes without saying that budgeting is the number one best thing you can do to prepare yourself for upcoming back to school expenses. If you plan ahead correctly, you can set aside funds specifically allocated toward spending on your children’s school supplies. And the more specific you can get with your budgeting, the better!
Of course, it is possible that you may go slightly over budget, but the point here is that when you plan ahead for your children’s back to school expenses, it will likely not come to be as much of a financial hit than if you were not at all prepared. You know that school-related expenses are going to come toward the end of August and beginning of September, so budgeting early can give you more time to prepare and set aside the necessary funds!