7 Tips to Save Money at the Start of the School Year
Most parents get excited with the thought of their children going to school again, but at the same time the financial constraints that the school year may impose will make them stressed. For parents who haven’t prepared the finances that they will need, a new school year can be really stressful especially when parents need to incur additional debts from credit card companies. Due to this, a non-profit credit counselling agency has offered important tips to allow parents to prepare their children for school while making the expenses more manageable and reducing financial burn-out.
The use of credit cards to shop for school supplies leads to further debt problems especially if the family already has a lot of credit card debts. To help parents save money for the next school year, the following tips may help:
1. Make a written budget
Parents should make sure that they know what they will need and how much money they will allot for these things. Parents should be able to determine how much money will need to be used for school supplies, clothes and others so they will be able to limit their expenses when they go to the department store. The absence of a budget usually leads to uncontrolled expenses.
2. List things that you need to buy
Make a list of the school supplies that you need to buy and avoid getting unnecessary things. Also, it is important to make an inventory of what your kids already have and can be used again for the coming school year. For instance, if they still have a clean uniform, you don’t actually need to buy a new one. Listing what you need to buy will also allow you to focus on specific areas of the store, which will reduce the time spent buying things.
3. Look for special deals and discount coupons
You can search online or in local newspapers for coupons and big discounts. Make sure that you shop a month or more before the start of the school year because prices usually are usually higher when school days get closer because of increased demand. You can use discount coupons when you shop to reduce your expenses.
4. Research prices
Before going to the department store or bookstore, you should know the prices of each thing that you need to buy. In this way, you will able to set your budget right away. In cases where the price is lower than you thought, then you save money for other things. In case some of the other things are more expensive, you can use the extra money you saved and still stay within your budget.
5. Cut your budget for other expenses
In case your money for school supplies is short, you may need to cut your expenses on other things. For instance, you could save on electricity and water so your savings from those can be used to compensate for the excess expense you had with the school supplies.
6. Buy what you need
Armed with your budget and your list, make sure to buy only what you need (those things on your shopping list). If you have extra money after purchasing the essential school supplies, then you could consider buying other things your child wants.
7. Save the extra
If you have extra money after making your purchases, it is be better to save it for the future rather than using it for extra things in the department store.
Using these tips, you will surely get what your children need for school without going beyond your means. Plus, you have the whole school year to save money for the next school year so you don’t have to get stressed when summer ends.
Posted by Tessy Parker