Back-to-school shopping can really put a dent on your budget if you fail to plan accordingly and just go with what you feel your child needs. But it can go smoothly and not make a big impact on your budget at all if you’ve actually taken the time to create a plan and make a budget.
For one thing, back-to-school shopping is something that most, if not all, parents do on a yearly basis so it should be considered a periodic expense and something that should be planned for. It’s best to work with your children to understand everything they need for the upcoming school year.
Since school opening is just around the corner, here are some back-to-school shopping tips to help you stay in budget.
Make a List
Before you go running off to the bookstore, you should take note of everything that your child will need and make a list. Talk to your child or your children’s teacher to find out what school supplies they’ll need, whether or not they have a dress code or specific pieces of clothing they’ll need, or if there are any planned activities for the year and items they’ll need.
Check the school’s website as early as possible so you can watch for back-to-school sales instead of waiting until the last minute when the demand is higher and the stores are more crowded.
It also helps to make a list of supplies that were unused or underused during the previous year to know if there are any items that you can recycle.
Wait for a Bit
After you make a list and buy the school supplies, hold off for a little while more before buying a new backpack, clothes, or any electronic devices. Let your child decide carefully before buying new clothes or they might end up being unused, collecting dust in the closet because they’re too ashamed to wear them.
Additionally, there might be back-to-school sales in department stores for clothing materials and backpacks.
Set a Spending Limit and Stick to It
The best way to help you stay in budget is creating a budget, setting a spending a limit, and sticking to that limit. Create a specific dollar amount for your budget and all your buying decisions should be made for you to not go over that limit.