It’s That Time of Year Already
My mother always said kids don’t cost anything, boy was she optimistic. I am still trying to figure how that could be true. Back to school can be a stressful time. Here are ten tips to reduce those back-to-school blues…
1. Plan ahead
Kids are constantly growing and needing, at the very least, bigger clothes. If your kids are anything like ours, by the end of summer they will have either out-grown or destroyed their summer stuff. It is a great idea to set aside money ahead of time for back to school clothes and supplies.
2. Make a list
Just like Christmas, make a list of what you are going to need and stick to it–for clothes and supplies as well. You may not have to wait for the supply list from teachers. A lot of teachers post supply lists on their school website.
3. Watch for sales and deals all summer long
Find coupons online. Take your smart phone with coupon to the register. Stores spend countless dollars on back-to-school advertising and promotions. Take full advantage of the deals. Don’t get stuck paying full price at the last minute.
4. Shop early
Shop early to try to avoid the mad rush at the stores during those first crazy weeks of school. Much easier to find what you need a month prior.
5. Determine need or want
Does your first grader really need designer jeans? Really? Probably not. Make wise purchase decisions. The younger they are the quicker they will outgrow it! Just ignore the whining coming from the back seat.
6. The dollar store
Do not forget about the ever-popular dollar store for all those supply requests from teachers. In the past I’ve gotten pretty grumpy about all the supplies we are asked to send in, until I found out how much of their own money teachers spend for things for their classrooms. Let’s support those hard-working, awesome teachers for serving our kids every day by helping with cheerful hearts.
7. Miscellaneous expenses
Be ready for miscellaneous expenses that will come up. Year books, extra curricular activities, school pictures, field trips all require some extra funds. If you are prepared for those things it will lessen your stress levels!
8. Take a lunch break!
Packing your kid’s lunches will save a lot of money. It only takes a little extra time in the morning and your kids can get a much healthier meal. Have you seen the school menu lately? Ick!
9. And one for the college student…
Text book prices are out of hand. Look on amazon, eBay, and at used book stores for the books you need. It is usually OK to get a book that may be one edition earlier.
10. Nothing is worth going into debt over
Who wants to be paying for those designer jeans months later? Stores do still take cold, hard cash.
Josh and Liane Wilson live in Escondido with their three children. Josh is Pastor of Ministry Production at New Venture Christian Fellowship and Liane is a stay at home mom and has started a cupcake business! Ruby Cupcakes is open for business–cupcakes for baby showers, birthdays, special events, rainy days– firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 840-6415.
Photos Courtesy of Coupon Mountain, iStock, and Josh and Liane Wilson respectively.