The average family spends close to $700 on back-to-school shopping. After Christmas, this is the biggest investment a family will make all year. You know your kids and their teachers work hard at school, so you want them to have the supplies they need. But each year the back-to-school list seems to grow and grow and grow! Here are three “extra credit” steps to make school shopping stress free.
How to Make School Shopping Stress-Free
1. Make a PLAN
Consult your school’s supply list and do an estimate of how much each item is going to cost. Then calculate a total. Office supply websites, Amazon, or even Walmart ads can help you get an idea of costs. Each grade is different. You could go in planning $400 and end up spending $600. Who has an extra $200 just lying around for school supplies? An overage of that size is sure to upset someone when you come home with less cash because you had not planned on it.
2. You don’t have to buy everything right now!
They put all the back-to-school items out in July but the longer you wait, the better deal you are going to get. Before the first bell rings, retailers already want to clear that stuff off of their floor. Even better, wait a week or two until after school starts and pick up what you need for this year and next.
3. Don’t go shopping alone!
Make sure you bring your kids. This is the best financial planning education you can give your kids. Do they really need the brand name crayons? The new backpacks are cool, but do they need them? They can put some of their money into that backpack they really love!
Kids today are learning far more advanced material than you and I did at that age for sure! But let’s show them how smart we are by saving on back-to-school shopping this year.
Taylor & Megan Kovar
The Money Couple