Staying within your budget for 2020 has new meaning and power over your finances. With the school year in full bloom, it's time to stay smart when learning your p's and q's!
The school year is back, and even though it might look very different than last fall, we know this time of year still has the potential to be exciting and fun. There is nothing like the fresh smell of school supplies on the first day of September! Even with e-learning and distanced learning, and all the different kinds of learning that we are seeing here in Goose Creek, we hope all of our parents and students have a very special school year! While there are already so many things to be worried about this year, your finances might be the heaviest burden of them all. While your children are back to hitting the books, we wanted to offer some tips and suggestions on how to save as many nickles and dimes as possible this school year. There is no one fix it all solution for everyone when it comes to adjusting to this school year or how to make the most out of your finances as you do so. In this two-part blog, we are going to be offering you some suggestions and options that might make your budget work for you and how to remove some worry and stress from the rest of 2020!
1. Hitting the Harddrive
This year's school spending looks very different than your 2019 school budget. When you went shopping last year new clothes, pens, backpacks, and books might have been on the list. This year, things are looking a little more technical. With so many distance and e-learning classes on your child's schedule, you might be looking into buying new computers, tablets, and software. You might also be looking into paying for more childcare or private tutors to help make your professional schedule work around your family's schedule. In all honesty, it looks like your back to school budget might have to be a tad bigger than last year's. This might be a hard pill to swallow since due to shortened hours or continued furloughs, your family's income might be taking quite a hit.
According to Dave Ramsey, parents are spending an average of $70 more than they did last year on electronics. Add on headphones, traditional school supplies, hand sanitizer, masks, and new furniture, Ramsey goes on to explain that parents could be spending up to $790 for all necessary school supplies this year. With every challenge you and your family have already gone through this year, how is this even possible? What makes it even more difficult is that your children need these items now, and the best time to buy it all is as quickly as you can. Your children will need all of these resources to get the most out of their education, to stay on top of their lessons and homework, and to stay connected with their friends and teachers. Take a deep breath, and don't worry. We are here to help!
2. Plan It (Part 1)
Be reasonable about your budget and what your family is currently making. What are the bills you have to take care of, and how much does this leave you for school supplies? Sit down and make a plan. How much can you spend on each child? Figure out this number and stick to it while you're shopping. Remember, a lot of the electronic devices that you could be in the market for can be purchased refurbished or secondhand. They do not have to be brand new and straight out of the box. Many companies from Apple to Best Buy all offer some excellent refurbished and refinancing options. Also, remember to check out stores that you might not exactly expect to have great deals on electronics. Costco and Sams Club are already known for excellent deals on their products, and this does include electronics.
When you do plan your budget and start your research on where to shop, spend time on it. Do not rush. Also, it might be best to stick to the school list and what you absolutely have to buy and not to what your kids are asking for. We might also suggest that they stay at home when you make your school supplies shopping trip. It's easy to say yes to fun add ons that they slip into your cart while you're out and about. A lot of the time these fun items go unused and add up your bill very quickly! While during your research, make sure to learn what all of your needed products are worth. This will come in handy when sales do start to pop up, you'll be able to recognize what is actually a good deal and what just looks to be a good deal.
We know this has been a stressful time for all of our parents, teachers, and families. This is why we are here with this blog to offer you some tips and suggestions to make this year and maybe even some of the next a little less painful. Try and enjoy the school year, getting back into a schedule, and watching your children blossom in their studies. In our next blog, we will be continuing with more tips and suggestions, and we hope to calm your stress about staying within your means. Remember, if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
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