Summer is flying by, and soon the stressful back to school shopping will begin. In the quest to eliminate credit card debt, being smart and frugal can help you face the new school term with the right financial foot forward.
With consumer confidence rising and more young people in school, back-to-college spending is expected to hit an all-time high this year while back-to-school spending is expected to see its second-highest spending level on record, according to NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Total combined spending is expected to reach $83.6 billion, an increase of more than 10 percent over last year’s $75.8 billion. Here are a few ways to keep your spending in check preparing for the upcoming school year.
Tips to Save on Back to School Shopping
1. Make a List and Stick to the Budget
Before splurging on supplies and clothing, sit down and set a maximum amount of how much you want to spend on back to school shopping. Making a list will help gain perspective for the items you need. Also, this can help you determine if you can purchase some items at a later date rather than spending a huge amount at once. Be sure to involve your children in decision making; it will help them understand the value of saving money and purchasing needs over wants, plus the importance of avoiding credit card debt.
Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Look out for those back-to-school shopping deals that can really help to stretch your budget. Whether it’s signing up for email alerts about coupons or comparing prices of products from different retail stores, every little bit can help. Also, garage sales and thrift stores are great places to find college dorm furniture as well as children’s clothing. In addition to buying supplies, try to purchase value or multi-packs. That way you will have a surplus to store away for the next school year or put the extra cash towards paying down credit card debt.
There is no need to buy new supplies every year. If notebooks are not fully written in from last year, then tear out the old pages and continue to use it until it’s filled. Don’t forget about left over pens and pencils from last year too.
4. Lifetime Warranty
Think about buying a backpack that comes with a lifetime warranty. Land’s End, L.L. Bean, and REI are among the many different companies that promise to replace your worn and used items forever.
5. Back-to-School Budget Calculator
Try a back to school budget calculator. ACCC’s budget calculator gives families and students insightful information on their expenses. Further more, it gives insights as to where you can make adjustments. With your shopping list and budget in hand, you will be ready for back to school shopping.