Back to School on a Budget

It’s that time again, can you hear the bells ringing? That’s right, it’s time to head back to school. This year more than most represents a return to the familiar after the last two years of uncertainty and continually changing requirements.

School brings with it the need for new in the form of supplies and clothing which can really add up and stretch your budget to the max. With the proper planning, going back to school doesn’t have to cost a fortune as retailers understand and offer some great deals to help you save. You’re probably wondering how you can possibly navigate all these sales and take advantage of savings without getting pulled into buying what you don’t need while wondering how you are going to afford it all.

To help with this, here are some tips and tricks to prepare for back to school without breaking the bank.

  1. Check Your Home
    Have you ever gone to clean out a closet and thought “I completely forgot I had this”? Well, this applies to back-to-school supplies as well. You may be surprised at the plethora of pens, notepads and other supplies you have in your home. Once you’ve gone through this you can determine what you need to buy versus what you already have and can repurpose.
  2. Establish a Spending Limit
    It’s important to create a spending limit as shopping without a budget sets you up for overspending. Build the budget based on full retail, not sale prices and that may give you the good fortune of having a little wiggle room.
  3. Wait and See
    Before you buy everything you think your child wants, wait a little bit and let them see what’s trendy and cool before spending money on something that ends up in the closet.
  4. Watch for Clearance Sales
    Using the step above allows you to bypass the rush and patiently wait for the inevitable sales that will appear allowing you to stock up on what was missed.
  5. Save to Spend – Create a Sinking Fund
    This is a pool of money that you add to over time. For example, adding $20 to each paycheque adds up to $520 if you’re paid 26 times a year. Setting up a direct deposit or an auto transfer will help you build the bank without even thinking.

As you prepare for this back-to-school time and all it encompasses, don’t forget to include your kids in the process. Talk to them to find out what’s important to them as kids’ expectations are often very different than our own. It’s also a great opportunity to teach them about budgeting and establishing need versus want.

Remember, school comes every year and this is the time to start planning ahead for next year. If you’re looking for help on how to “Save to Spend”, book a free consultation with us today. We can help.