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Back-to-school savings – Plan, Plan, Plan!

Back-to-school savings – Plan, Plan, Plan!

Happy summer! Now that the weather has warmed up and we’re all getting a bit of a tan, it’s time to start thinking about the kids going back-to-school. Wait… what? Back to school? Didn’t summer holidays just start? The answer is a resounding yes each of those questions!

A little of prior planning can take away the stress of last-minute shopping and it can also ease the impact on your wallet.

5 steps for a hassle free back-to-school

  1. Take stock of what you need and what you already have. Kids leave school in June with backpacks full of stuff. Some items need to be washed, some need to be given a new home (e.g. outgrown clothes and shoes), some can be reused for the next school year, and let’s be honest, some stuff just needs to be recycled, composted (think old apple that you put in their lunch back in May), or put in the garbage. Do your children still have supplies from the year before? Can they be reused?
  2. Start checking out the sales now. There are many stores that have bargain bins filled with supplies. Purchasing some supplies during your regular grocery shopping trip can spread the cost out for your family.
  3. Give your children a clothing allowance for back to school outfits. This allows them to make some money decisions, assuming they’re old enough.  This will help you stay in budget and it’s a wonderful opportunity to teach your children some wonderful money lessons like quantity versus quality, needs versus wants, name brand versus not, taxes, etc.. And depending on your children’s ages, you may consider having them contribute to their clothing costs, especially if they want something outside of your budget. You contribute the amount that works for your budget and they’re required to shore up the difference. You’ll notice very quickly how important that item is to them.
  4. Make a master list of all of the supplies your children need and shop with it. The “rule” is that if it’s not on the list, it doesn’t go in the shopping cart. It’s very easy to get tempted when everything is new and in beautiful packaging!
  5. Consider starting a savings account for school supplies and contribute to it each pay cheque. This will alleviate any financial stress because you’re breaking up the costs over the course of nearly a year.
Back-to-school, running shoes

Photo credit: Cavi C on Unsplash

Remember that not everything needs to be purchased on day one of school. It’ll still be warm so your kids can wear their summer clothes and they won’t go through 200 sheets of paper or 10 pencils in the first month. You can take some time to make your purchases which can relieve your budget a little when you prepare for back-to-school.

Until our next chat, what’s one positive thing you can do today to help your financial future?

OakvilleNews.org articles about Person Finance by Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy and you can follow Stacy on Twitter @StacyYO_CCS


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