The start of a new school year means new teachers, new friends, and new challenges for kids and teenagers. It can also mean new and expensive supplies for parents to buy! This year, parents and students will spend 68 billion dollars getting ready for the new year of school. Savvy parents can take steps to make their dollars go further.
1. Shop in Your Closet First
Before you hit the store, look at last year’s school supplies to see what’s still good. Things like scissors, protractors, and pencil sharpeners don’t wear out and can be passed around between kids from year to year.
2. Make a List
Write one master list for the family’s shopping. Some things can be bought in bulk for less and divided between kids.
3. Develop a Budget
Make a realistic plan for what you can afford to spend this season and stick to it. Back-to-school doesn’t just have to be preparation for classes; it can be a valuable lesson for your kids in money management. Work with your kids to set a budget for their supplies so they see how it’s done.
4. Shop Early and Often
Office supply stores love this season and will often start big sales in the summer. Check your paper or go online each week to see which stores have the best deals.
5. Use Your Credit Union Wisely
Some supplies, such as computers, clothes, and graphing calculators, have the potential to break any budget. Instead of using credit cards, a low rate personal loan from Wayne Westland Federal Credit Union can offer the freedom to purchase without the high and often-changing interest rate or temptation to buy more than you budgeted. Now is also a great time to start a youth account so your child or teen can save up for items that didn’t fit the budget.