If you have kids in your household that are either in school or going off to college you are quite familiar with the stress of the back to school shopping. Those seemingly endless lists of school supplies, books, electronics and the newest, must-have wardrobe – a strain on the household budget for sure. On average it costs families $600 to get each child ready for the new school year.
Once again the time is upon us to figure how to budget for the second priciest time of the year. To ease the pain a little you can take action by getting together with other neighborhood moms and have a clothes swap. Sure, not all kids will go for that, then you can wait until after Labor Day to buy the “in” clothing and maybe there is an outlet store not too far away. For school supplies you can band with your neighbors once again and purchase in bulk then split the cost. Consider as a group to buy a few extra things, which usually are needed throughout the year such as pencils, paper in advance, this will lower the cost, even more. Avoid fancy items such as pencils with lights and binders that play music, just stick to the basics. If you can give items a second life, go for it. It is all right to reuse what you already have such as binders and folders.
Check out the sales tax holidays for your state. You can increase your savings even more if you are armed with coupons and be sure to pay with cash. This will help you to stick to your budget better. Don’t buy books until class starts. For college, consider renting books over buying or be on the look out for the e-book versions over the physical textbook. Many course textbooks are online for minimal cost. Yes, it is that time of year again, so take a deep breath, relax and don’t wait until the last minute. Cost-cutting ideas are limited to your imagination alone.