Every year back-to-school season arrives at the same time, and every year it comes as a shock. But you can’t help it. Each year their list of back-to-school supplies gets a little longer. And more expensive!
You’re expected to buy more and more of their daily supplies — from notebooks and pens to graphing calculators and tablets.
If you aren’t sure how you’ll afford it all, check in with this quick list. It has simple tips that will help any mom save money.
Brush up on Your Finances
Soon enough, your kids’ backpacks will be full of math homework. But they aren’t the only ones who can expect to bring out the calculator this fall. The back-to-school season is the perfect time for you to brush up on financial basics like your budget and credit options.
This year, parents can expect to spend roughly $697 on back-to-school expenses, which is no easy bill to take on without preparation. Sitting down with your budget will help you see where you can cut expenses to free up more cash.
If you still fall short of what you need, an unsecured line of credit may help you take on necessary back-to-school shopping you can’t ignore. An unsecured line of credit simply means you won’t have to put up collateral, but you can find a more in-depth definition in this glossary of important finance terms
An unsecured line of credit acts as a safety net during a tight month, bridging the gap between what you have and what you need. But it isn’t an excuse to splurge — even if you’re given a higher credit limit than you need. Remember, you’ll have to pay it all back, so use your line sparingly.
Blink and your kids grow an inch. At that rate, the average sweater or pair of pants doesn’t have a long shelf life. But don’t throw these items out or donate them just yet.
You can use these clothes as currency at a clothing swap. A clothing swap brings together parents who share the same problems with their children’s closets. Everyone brings pieces that no longer fit, and they trade them for ones that do.
A clothing swap is a perfect way to get rid of old clothes that don’t fit anymore — without spending a single penny! All you have to do is go online to find a clothing swap near you or organize one with your friends.
Opt for Generic Brands
After a long day spent in the mall, your patience is at an all-time low. You just want to get your shopping over with, so you reach for the most familiar brand on the shelf and move on.
But by ignoring the generic knockoffs, you could be skipping out on major savings.
In many cases, the big names of school supplies and fashions brands hike up their prices just because they can. People are willing to spend more for the name. But otherwise, they work or look just the same as their cheaper counterparts. The only thing missing ono these affordable options is a famous logo.
Back-to-school shopping is expensive, but it doesn’t have to bust your budget. There are shortcuts and workarounds to every item on your list. Be a savvy shopper and use these tips to keep your expenses in check, and your kids will have everything they need without destroying your budget.