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Grade A Back-To-School Savings Tips

August is the month when summer vacation starts winding down, and back-to-school anxiety starts increasing for parents. Moms & Dads, as you start counting down the days when your kids go back to school, think about these 5 ways to save $$$:

1. Take Inventory At Home: Look around your house to see what spare pencils, pens, glue sticks, etc. are inevitably lying around, waiting to be used — no need to buy these items if you already have them.

2. Swap Stock – Use your network of parents to start swapping supplies before going to the stores to buy brand new items. The same excess you found around the house while trying out Tip#1, can be used to barter items with other parents in your circle.

3. Don't Wait To Start Shopping: If you wait until the last minute, you will be overwhelmed and likely to add more to the shopping cart than your kids need.

4. Shop Late (trust me this is not contradictory): You can almost always count on discounts on school supplies/uniforms after the school year has already started. Think about what your children absolutely need before the school opens and buy the other items later. After a few weeks of school being opened, you would know what's no longer needed, thus saving you even more money.

5. To Take Your Kids or Not To Take Your Kids (that is the question!) - If you are not disciplined with money, leave your children HOME. Yes, I said it, leave them home! You don't need them pressuring you into buying items (high-priced items) that they don't need.

Now if you do decide to take your kids, use the shopping experience as an opportunity to teach them about money. Remember a lot of kids these days have no concept of how money really works. Write down a budget together and emphasize the importance of handling priority items first before jumping head on into the “wants”. Get them exposed to all that’s involved with spending smartly.

Above all else, remember to budget your way through this entire process and avoid swiping credit cards (that you don’t intend to pay before the end of the billing period). Carefully and thoughtfully write down what you expect to purchase along with the amount you’re prepared to spend - and stick to it.

It’s time for Grade A savings this year. You gat this!

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