It’s that time again when the kids put down their Xbox controllers and pick up their books. Back to school is a time when many parents breathe a sigh of relief as peace is restored to the home again. However, a different kind of stress is brewing; Back to School means new stationary, new uniforms, new textbooks and more debt! If you haven’t planned for these expenses, you may find yourself in a very stressful situation. For those that planned ahead, well done and for those that didn’t, read through these tips so that you can start planning now for next term and even for next year.
Set up a monthly budget
A budget is the most important tool you have to help you stay on track with your finances all year round. Setting aside a specific amount of money every month for your expenses will ensure you do not spend your money blindly. Make sure you add school expenses to your budget. If you don’t spend the money, save it so that when you do need the money for school expenses it is available.
Don’t buy stationary you don’t need
Before you rush out and buy every single bit of stationery on your list, first look at home and collect all the pens, pencils, erasers and spare books you have lying around your home. Dig under those couches, look under the beds and peek into kids toy boxes. You will be sure to find enough stationary to reduce your stationery bill.
Set the limit
As your children get older, they will demand the latest and ‘coolest’ items for school, which may just bust your budget. Explain to your children the value of money. More importantly, explain to them that the Spiderman backpack won’t help them pass the year.
Wait until the end of January to buy stationery
January is the longest month financially. You can save money by making any necessary school related purchases at the end of January. At this time, many retail stores will have last minute clearance sales on back to school items at the fraction of the price.
Don’t let back to school expenses sneak up on you ever again.
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