Back-to-School Budgeting Tips

August marks the beginning of the back-to-school season, which is a time of anticipation and excitement as students look forward to embarking on the journey of a new scholastic year.

For parents, this time can be extremely stressful if they haven’t prepared financially for back-to-school shopping. 2020 will put an additional twist on this already stressful time for parents, as the uncertainty looms for this upcoming school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents now will have to purchase the necessary sanitizing and safety items to keep their children safe, and for those students who will begin the school year learning remotely, parents will be in the market for laptops and other required technology.

According to the National Retail Federation, parents will spend significantly more money during this year’s back-to-school shopping season than in previous years. 

Here are some tips that can help parents make this costly Fall 2020 back-to-school season as well as in the years to follow a little bit more manageable.

  • Total Up Everything You Need- This will give you an idea of all the items, supplies and clothing that you will need for the upcoming school year. You can then develop a reasonable spending limit.
  • Set a Reasonable Spending Limit– Create a spending limit you’re comfortable with that also covers the basics. Keep in mind that the 2020-2021 school year will require items that weren’t previously needed for back-to-school shopping due to the pandemic and remote learning.
  • Putting off Certain Expenses-You don’t always have to buy everything in time for the first day. If your children are starting school at home distance learning, they may not need new clothes right away, that gives you additional time to save more money for when it is time to buy new clothes for the children.
  • Practicing Smart Shopping Methods– Some common smart shopping tactics include; buying generic when possible and socially acceptable, comparing prices, discount shopping at thrift stores or the dollar store for school supplies, buying supplies in bulk at warehouse stores and using coupons and rebate sites. Also, most major retailers will have big back to school sales and most states have “no-tax” week during the fall back-to-school season. Take advantage of those sales.

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