Back to School, Back to Basics
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Back to School, Back to Basics

Aug 24, 2021, 14:43 PM by Dana Racine
T-minus one week and counting for fall schedules when back to school, football games and cooler nights will resume. Before shipping the kids off, new sneakers laced-up and clean backpack filled with sharpened pencils, take a lesson on budgeting for the transition.

First things first, figure out how much money you have or can budget to spend before hitting the stores or filling your online cart. Start by obtaining their school “supply list”. Also, consider if any of last year’s supplies are stashed away for reuse or is it a fresh start year. Next, marching orders to your child’s closet to discover what still fits, doesn’t have holes and, if they or you care, is still in style. Compile the lists then look for helpful tools like a Back-to-School Budget Calculator.

Start-off on the right foot by heading out early to get the back to school sales. Plus, you won’t feel as pressured by last minute shopping and over spend. Make a list and stick to it, being sure not to get sucked into additional deals.

Buyer beware! Depending on how much you spend, some online stores offer free shipping. Sign-up for deal alerts and special offers as you look through store emails throughout the end of summer. Buy in bulk putting aside the extra supplies for later, if you already did take inventory before you start shopping.

Make it a learning opportunity by getting the kids involved and teaching them about budgeting and money management. Compare prices online and in advertisement flyers together. They’ll not only learn how to budget and organize, but the importance of knowing the difference between essential “must haves” and optional “would like to have” items.

Why not make it a tradition to be money savvy. Let your children lead the way by allowing them to make purchasing decisions within a set amount. Track each expense and note what worked best along the way. If you and the kids come out ahead, add it to their savings account to earn more interested. Look for financials that offer additional benefits, like at Winnebago Community Credit Union which provides up to $30 per year. You could also think ahead by depositing it into a Christmas Club Account.

Take the chance to conduct your kid’s first lesson of the school year with back to school budgeting. By working together, everyone comes out with high scores before the bell even rings.