It’s hard to believe that the 2022-2023 school year will be back in session in a mere matter of weeks. As you and your kids prepare for the next academic year, emotions are likely running wild in your home. I’d be willing to bet that you and your kids are feeling waves of excitement, nervousness, happiness, and sadness as the end of summer draws to a close. While there is still plenty of time to soak up the summer sun, now is also the perfect time to get ready for the school year, which starts with some good ol’ fashioned back-to-school shopping!
With inflation and the current economic climate, you may find that you’re trying to cut costs wherever possible. So, to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket, follow along to read some great tips for how to stretch your back-to-school budget this year.
Take Inventory on What You Already Have
Most teachers will send out lists of school supplies in advance that they recommend for their students to have for the first day of school. So, before heading out to shop and buy new supplies, take a look at your children’s supplies they still have from previous years. You’d probably be surprised at all the school supplies you could find located right in your own home. It’s a simple way to avoid making duplicate purchases or paying more money (especially these days) for those last-minute store visits.
If you find that you’re still coming up short, make a new list of everything your child still needs and then head to the store.
Set a Budget (And Stick to it!)
Before heading to the store, create a budget based on what you want to spend on all the supplies still needed and try to stick to it as best you can. Talk with your kids and identify their wants versus needs and help them to understand the differences between the two.
You can make it more interactive and fun for your kids by taking them shopping with you so they can put their money management skills to the test. Give them a set amount to spend and encourage them to only put items they need in the cart. If they budget well-enough and are under budget during your shopping adventure, they could wind up getting to keep the remainder of the money that’s left and put it toward building their savings. Budgeting gives your kids the opportunity to learn how to independently manage money for themselves at an early age, which is a great lesson when teaching them about healthy financial habits.
Hit up the Sales
Who doesn’t love a good sale? There are always plenty of opportunities to save a few extra bucks thanks to all the great back-to-school sales. Here’s where to start:
Research online retailers for shopping codes or find coupons that’ll help you save on your purchases. Plus, shopping online will also help you to avoid driving from store to store allowing you to save money on gas.
Look into all the stores you plan to shop and see what, if any, sales they’ve got going on.
Check flyers and surf social media feeds to ensure you’re not missing any deals.
It may be a little extra work but will be well worth it when it comes to the money you’ll save.
Swap with Family, Friends, and Neighbors
What better way to kick off a brand-new school year than by hosting a swap party? Round up all the supplies you have that you know your child doesn’t need or won’t use and swap with family, friends, and neighbors. It’s a fun, unique way to recycle school supplies and your kids will receive items that will still be new and exciting to them. Plus, it’s a major time and money saver.
When you’re shopping on a budget, don’t forget to check out your local thrift store or secondhand stores. Thrift and discount stores are great when it comes to finding essential items like pencils, pens, and notebooks, and they’re priced super cheap! You may also get lucky in finding a backpack or lunchbox if a brand-new one isn’t in your budget.
Thrifting can be an adventure for the whole family because you never know what you’ll come across. They’re excellent alternatives and items are always sold at a reasonable cost. Check out your local thrift store and see what awesome treasures you can purchase.
Use Your GOLD Credit or Debit Card
Regardless of where you’ll be shopping for the upcoming school year, be sure to keep your GOLD Credit or Debit Card on hand for all your back-to-school needs! Don’t have a GOLD Credit Card yet? Supercharge your spending power and apply today. Still need a GOLD Debit Card? Give our team a call so we can get you one: 484-223-4200.
Now … before you start settling into the back-to-school groove, go back to enjoying the last few weeks of fun in the sun. Because after all, summer’s not done just yet!
Best wishes on a successful school year from all of us at GOLD!