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Back to School Savings

by Chad Rieflin

Saving money and avoiding debt during back-to-school shopping can be challenging, but with some careful planning and smart strategies, it's achievable. Here are some tips to help you save money and stay out of debt while preparing for the back-to-school season:

  1. Create a Budget: Start by setting a budget for your back-to-school expenses. Determine how much you can afford to spend without relying on credit cards or loans. Stick to this budget as closely as possible.
  2. Make a Shopping List: Before heading to the stores, make a detailed shopping list of all the essential items your child needs for the new school year. Stick to the list to avoid impulsive purchases.
  3. Shop Sales and Discounts: Look for back-to-school sales, discounts, and special offers in stores and online. Compare prices and take advantage of any deals you can find.
  4. Use Coupons and Apps: Utilize coupons and money-saving apps to get additional discounts and cashback on your purchases.
  5. Shop Secondhand: Consider buying gently used or secondhand items such as clothing, backpacks, and textbooks. Thrift stores and online marketplaces often have great deals on these items.
  6. Involve Your Kids: Teach your children about budgeting and involve them in the back-to-school shopping process. This can help them understand the value of money and make smarter choices.
  7. Reuse and Repurpose: Take stock of items from the previous school year that can still be used. For instance, some school supplies like rulers, calculators, and scissors may still be in good condition and reusable.
  8. Delay Non-Essential Purchases: If there are items on the shopping list that aren't immediately necessary for the start of the school year, consider postponing the purchase. Prices might drop further after the back-to-school rush.
  9. Set Spending Limits: If you have older children who want specific branded items, set spending limits and encourage them to contribute their own money if they want something beyond the budget.
  10. Avoid Credit Card Debt: Use cash or a debit card for back-to-school shopping to avoid accumulating credit card debt. If you can't afford something, don't buy it on credit.
  11. Take Advantage of Tax-Free Days: Some states offer tax-free shopping days during the back-to-school season. Check if your state has such days and plan your shopping accordingly.
  12. Track Your Expenses: Keep track of your spending to ensure you are staying within your budget. This will also help you identify areas where you can cut back if needed.

By following these tips, you can save money and avoid creating debt during back-to-school shopping. Remember that being mindful of your spending habits and making well-informed decisions can lead to a more financially stress-free start to the new school year.