The best way to conquer back-to-school needs is to prioritize your spending, create a budget, and search for deals. Here’s our how-to guide for getting the kids back to school with everything they need.
Make a list of everything the kids need: clothes, sports gear, books, bags, pens, pencils, etc. What can be used from last year, and what items do they need new? Once you’ve got everything written down and know what you need to buy, you can create a budget.
You need a
- back-to-school budget,
- a monthly school needs budget (for extracurricular activities that are school-driven like sports, band, and theatre),
- and school-related extras budget, such as prom and homecoming.
Kids grow fast, sure, but is there anything in their wardrobe they can wear that still fits and is in decent shape from the previous school year (even if that means spring 2020)? Can you swap hand-me-downs with friends that have grown out of sports gear or day-to-day clothes and have no younger siblings? This is a great way to save on purchasing new items.
Look for deals and spread out the shopping. When you search for deals, you can cut down costs on items you cannot reuse. There are secondhand sports gear stores and secondhand kids stores across central Illinois. These offer new and nearly new clothing for a third of the price or much less. There are still some garage sales to explore and plenty of consignment and thrift stores, such as Goodwill and The Salvation Army.
Are there supplies hidden at the back of a cupboard, in cubbies, and desks you can dust off and send with the kids? Also, if your kids have a birthday coming up, you could ask family to gift items that they can use for school, such as warm-weather gear, sports gear, clothes, and supplies.
Cheap versus value
Make sure you are checking offers and not falling into the trap of quantity over quality. It’s easy to think bulk is better, but honestly, sometimes less is more.
Keep an eye out for, and be sure to clip or save, coupons for back-to-school supplies. Even the supermarkets are getting pretty good at this, handing you a wad of targeted deals with your receipt at checkout.
If you have no other choice but to buy new at a store, then definitely seek out stores that price match.
To help you prioritize your spending and budget, for back-to-school and other activities, check out My Money Manager with online banking. Using this financial tool, customers can set up a budget, create goals, and track their spending. For more information, stop in at a branch or visit https://www.wbsb.net/internet-services/online-banking/