Okay, so, it has been a wonderful year! Perhaps, second for many!
Even though Christmas is about three to four months far, but it is almost back-to-school season. This implies that you need to wipe off that child’s tears and prepare them to go back to school. Moreover, you can have happy tears for finally having some spare time for yourself.
But, this back-to-school season comes with a hefty tag of expenses and other shopping lists. Your growing kid needs new clothes, new stationery, a new bag (if he is nagging about it). They all are paired with the laundry list for numerous school supplies, extra-curricular fees and so much more can add up. In fact, it is observed that an average Canadian spends about $100 – $200 on a child and about one out of four spend more than that!
But, fear not, you can have all the things in your control and function as planned with little budget control. Your child can be fully prepared with all the necessities for the first day without blowing off your budget.
Here is the Top 10 Budget Tips for Back to School Planning
Get the List
So, before any school starts, they hand over a list of items, and school supplies needed by the child. Remember to compare the items on the new list from the items in your house inventory because many items can overlap. Perhaps, you can find a way out for the ones that are genuinely required. The list is the best way to plan and segregate the items necessary and get them for back-to-school days.
From the list you have and comparing the items in the house, it is time to prioritize things first for being prepared for the first day in school. If the place where you live seems to push the warm weather to the fall, then you can save some on your pants and jackets- especially if your child is in the growing stage. It is better to get the things that actually matter then and plan for the rest with time.
Make Coupons your BFF
Coupons can bring you great deals of offers and discounts on the supplies you are about to purchase for the back-to-school time. Whether you are visiting a store or shopping online, make use of coupons. Some even sell their gift cards to get rid of quickly which you can purchase and bring to your use.
Go with online Forums and Trading Boards
Before hitting those expensive stores for your electronics, make sure to go through Craigslist or other classified platforms that might be pricey in the stores. Get hands on the trade bonds to save bucks on the items necessary in the back-to-school shopping list. The gift cards can be worthy for you while ticking off the lists of items from your shopping list.
Make Smart Choices
When purchased strategically, all the expenses can be profitable in the long run. Even when the 50 packs of lined paper sounds cheaper, but is 50 packs really necessary? It is better if you can collaborate with another parent and buy the bulk 50 and then divide the packs and the amount amongst you. Moreover, teach your kid to take care of the supplies bought and both of you use them wisely and strategically for long-term sustenance. Remember to keep a note of the stationeries that you buy for your kid are well used so that they just do not end up buried somewhere and remain a decorative piece.
Do you know being economical also means being eco-friendly to a large extent? So, instead of buying those plastic containers to pack their lunches or meals. You can use reusable and eco-friendly wrapping items or things along with the real cutlery from your kitchen drawer. Yes, you might think that the initial cost is too much compared to the plastic alternatives, but it is always beneficial and advantageous in the long run. And, you will also keep a lot of plastics out of landfills.
Get your Kids Involved
Once the child reaches fourteen or sixteen, it is time to teach your children about money management. Make them a part of your budget program and on things like spending, budgeting and saving. And if they are old enough, you can give them a budget for their clothing and supplies. Let them research and calculate how they can plan out their expenses and remember to check back rather than going to the store and adding their money up.
Balance Name Brands with Basic Items
Kids asking for expensive items is the talk of every house. So if your kids are asking for something expensive, you pay a certain amount, like $20 or whatever your budget allows; and let the kid pay the rest amount themselves from all the money they saved up with their allowances or birthday money. Even more, if they are asking for a high-end item, get them the basic item and then use the rest of the money to personalize the item or get more items in their possession.
Saving Doesn’t Stop There
This saving is not enough! Your kid definitely has some dreams or you have thought of some career options suitable for them. So, you need to consider all the points and keep your budget plan up and running for as long as your kid is grown up and can earn himself or herself. One of the top ways is using a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) that allows you to plan out the secondary education for your child.
Be Consistent & Persistent
Last, but not least- always be consistent and persistent with your choice and the budget plan in order to stay stagnant on the graph. Streamline your expenditures to have enough not only for now or merely to meet ends but also to have happy days ahead where you can treat your child and yourself.