Back to School can be expensive and creates a difficult issue for many families. Our purses are still hurting from Christmas, the kids have been on school holidays with more money spent there… and now you need to get Back to School Supplies. Here are out tips on coping with the Back to School Costs:
- Work out what you actually need.
Feel free to utilise our Back to School Checklist to determine what school supplies you actually need so that you cannot be swayed by children who want everything. Certain stationery items like glue sticks and HB pencils, blue and red pens and white out almost always need replacing; however, many coloured pencils simply could use a sharpening or going through the home supplies to create a full pencil case again. Check the length and fit of school uniforms, and check your current supplies of lunchboxes and drink bottles, to determine if you need replacement items. As a general rule of thumb, you will need at least 2 lunchboxes per child. Avoiding unnecessary purchases will help to reduce the costs.
- Start off on the right foot.
One of the major expenses (at least for us…) is School and Sports Shoes. At the beginning of each school year we buy new school shoes. The cost of these add up quickly and with the children in their shoes for at least 6 hours a day, five days a week I need to ensure that I get shoes that will help their developing feet. I always visit a reputable kids shoe store that specialise in school shoes and correct fitting. We buy the shoes with enough space for growth throughout the year and generally we get through an entire year with this one pair of shoes. To help with this expense, it is good to visit a store that has a good loyalty program that rewards you for your purchases by offering decent discounts on the 6th pair or a similar program.
- Take advantage of Back to School Sales and Discount Shops
We set aside a day (it’s big and long…. but then its done ?) a week before school starts to do all the Back to School Shopping. Taking advantage of Back to School Sales and look at the Discount shops for certain items like glue, pencils and other stationery requirements. This will also help reduce costs.
- Label like you love it!
It can be frustrating and painful, however labelling everything is a must and it is also a safeguard to ensure that you don’t lose items unnecessarily. Labelling clothing, school bags, books, lunchboxes and drink bottles is a must. Find a good quality label that doesn’t wear off quickly.
- Set a budget
For the older children who want to choose their own items, set a budget for them on what you will give them to spend on their school supplies. This helps them learn a valuable monetary lesson along with an understanding of the importance of sticking to a budget and making decisions around this.
We would love to hear your additional tips on coping with Back to School Costs.