As the kids head back to school in a few months, they will certainly want some new clothes and new gear. Styles and sizes change as kids get older; school supplies run out. A back to school shopping budget is the best way to avoid consumer debt.
Back to School Shopping Budget Examples
The more time you have to save, the better. If you have a few months to save for school shopping, it will be a lot easier to set aside a small amount of money each month rather than a lump sum the month before. Consider it part of your budget every month while the kids are in school for best results. However, sometimes there is no time to save. Yet it’s still so important to not overspend and wind up with personal credit card debt.
4 Savings Timelines for School Shopping
Let’s say you want to spend $300 per child on clothing and school supplies. Here is what you would have to save on three different timelines:
3 months- $100/month
5 months- $60/month
8 months- $38/month
12 months- $25/month
If you don’t have any time to save, you will have to sacrifice other areas of your budget. This could mean eliminating entertainment and dining out and using those funds towards your shopping expenses. Additionally, consider working extra hours to generate a bigger income to cover the extra costs.
This Back to School calculator is a great way to estimate your expenses!
How to Avoid Credit Card Debt When Back to School Shopping
Avoid the inclination to use credit cards to cover the costs of these items. Relying on credit cards may seem harmless. However, using credit means that you do not have the money to make those purchases. It’s one thing to have it in the budget and use the card to gain reward points; it’s another to know that you won’t be able to pay your balance in full when the bill arrives. A credit card balance easily builds up after each use and as interest piles up. Too much debt is not only difficult to get rid of but can be very stressful.
Finally, you might have to adjust your school shopping budget. You may not have enough time and money to spend the amount you originally wanted to. One way to do this is to spread the shopping over the course of a few months. Get started just before the kids get to school so they have something new to wear and all their school supplies. Then, go back to the stores a few weeks later or whenever you have more cash available. Watch out for Labor Day and Columbus Day sales save money. Don’t forget thrift stores! It’s good for the environment, cost effective and they will get some unique items.
Read Budgeting for After School Activities to learn more money saving tricks!