Saving Money for Back to School

Back to school is the second busiest shopping day of the year, and many parents find it hard to make ends meet during this time. But with some careful planning and innovating shopping techniques, this time of the year can be fun for both the parents and children.

Before you begin shopping, one of the best strategies is setting a budget. Knowing how much you have to spend will keep you from spending too much. The first step in setting a budget is to know what is a need and what is a want. School supply lists are a definite need and must be purchased first, but clothing and other accessories are more flexible. To help calculate a budget, past spending is a great place to look. Last year’s receipts and credit card statements will give you an idea of what you spent last year so you can calculate this year’s amount. A good way to stick to this budget is using cash envelopes. Put each child’s name on separate envelopes and put the allotted amount for that child. This will keep you from spending more than you budgeted.

To help get an idea of what you need in clothing and accessories, take time and go through each of your children’s closets and drawers. Have them try on the clothes.  If it fits, put in back into the closet, and if not, pass it to a younger sibling or to one of your friend’s children. You can also bring these clothes to a consignment store for extra cash or donate to a charity.

Before you run out to the stores, think recycle. Garage sales along with thrift stores are a great way to get good clothes at a fraction of the cost. Here in Lawrenceburg there are lots of great options. Goodwill offers lots of clothes and accessories at unbelievable prices. There is also an amazing kids consignment store on Broadway called Polka Dots Kids. Here you can take the slightly used clothes you have to them and earn some cash while shopping their large selection of children’s clothes. And what can be better than having the largest yard sale right before back to school. Head out this weekend and see all the bargains that will be just about everywhere.

Another great way to save money for back to school is to host a party to exchange kids’ clothing or otherwise known as a “clothing swap.” All you need to do is invite a bunch of your friends who have children of similar ages to a party where you can enjoy some great social time while doing some shopping for the children. Just remind your guests to bring clothes that are clean, without tears or stains.

Back to school can be expensive, but with a few adjustments and some creative new ways to shop, school time can be less stressful on you and your wallet.

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Posted in Family & Community, Local Shopping.

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