Of course, that means different things to different people: excitement and anticipation if you’re headed to kindergarten, bored apathy if you’re a teenager or all new experiences and responsibilities if you’re headed off to college.
But for all the parents who are sending the kids back to school, this can be a tough time of year – second only to the holiday season in terms of cash flowing OUT of your wallet.
It’s also stressful. Not only do you have to send your baby off to school (kindergarteners), into the lion’s den (teenagers) or out into the world (college students) – you have to pay for it, too!
This year, studies say that the average cost of sending a school-age child back to school is somewhere between $450 and $688. As any math teacher can tell you, that’s a lot of money!
While there’s not a lot we can do about the registration and book rental fees, there are some ways to save. Consider these ideas and maybe you won’t have to BUY everything you need:
- Check and see how many pencils, paper, binders, highlighters and crayons you already have around the house. If you can find some supplies just laying around, you won’t have to buy them.
- Take inventory in your kid’s closet. Maybe there are “forgotten” clothes from last year that still fit (and that they’ll still agree to wear). Chances are that once you look at all the clothes they have, you can cut the list of clothes you need to buy by half.
- Make a list of the specific items you need to buy before you go out shopping. Sticking to a list (even a long one) will help control your spending.
- Take advantage of loyalty discounts at stores like Staples and Office Max.
- Search online for coupons and deals at your favorite retailers.
- Consider waiting a few weeks to buy things your students won’t need right away. They probably can’t wear their new sweaters and corduroys until the weather changes, and retailers put all the back to school apparel (and supplies) on sale in mid-September. You can save BIG if you wait just a few weeks for the fall clothes.
You’ll earn an A in savings before school even starts!
What are some of your money-saving back to school tips? We’d sure like to know, so leave a comment and share your great ideas.