We are back with our second installment of how best to budget for your school year. If you're still paying for 2020 or wanting to better prepared for 2021, we have more tips and suggestions to make the school year's expenses a little easier on your wallet.
Hello everyone! Welcome back to the blog. We are going to be continuing with part two of our tips and suggestions series on how to budget and save money when shopping for the school year. We know that many of these suggestions might be better suited for the second semester of the year of 2021, but we hope that if we share them with you now, that you can plan more efficiently for the years to come. Have you used any of our suggestions from the first part of this blog? Have you come across even more money-saving tips that you want to share? Please don't hesitate to comment and share them with us after reading this blog, we would love to hear from you!
3. Plan It (Part 2)
When you're planning on heading out to the store or committing to some serious online shopping, don't forget to research your apps! There are tons of money-saving apps that you can use to get cashback on your purchases. Some apps can alert you if you're getting a good deal or if the item is priced better somewhere else. You can also get alerts when your favorite stores are having good deals and sales too. The school year can also be an exciting task for you, our coupon superheroes! Put your skills to work. You've found incredible deals for your family by using your coupons, use them for the school year too. Don't forget to visit your local dollar stores and clearance stores. They will surprise you with what products they offer. Don't exclude thrift stores or thrifting apps like Poshmark or ThreadUp. While these might not be ideal for electronics, you'll be able to find some incredible deals on school clothes, supplies, and more. For students who are going back to school in person and who wear uniforms, use Facebook Marketplace to good use! Buy gently used uniform items that other students have grown out of and fit your children perfectly!
Also, don't forget to buy clothes off-season. While you might be needing some new fall clothing to make it through the cooler months, there is nothing wrong with picking up a new outfits at the end of summertime or wintertime for the following season. You can get some incredible deals and a good amount of clothes for your children, including school uniforms, when the seasons are changing. When you're shopping at your favorite stores, don't forget to spend some time on the sales rack. They might be a little terrifying to dive into, but it can help your purse strings. Also, remember to buy a size or two up for children still going through puberty so these clothes will fit them once the appropriate season comes around again!
Make sure to take a look around the house before you go shopping. Due to the changes this school year has brought, you might already have to reorganize some of your living areas to accommodate room for e-learning, why not take this as an opportunity to do a little fall cleaning? Does everyone in your home think they need new school supplies? Gather up all the pens, pencils, crayons, markers, glue sticks, scissors, and rulers in the house to see what you already have. Go through them and throw out what can't be used, and keep the good supplies. Have 10 bottles of open glue? Pour them into one another to have full bottles and get rid of the empty ones. Have a bunch of worn down crayons? Melt them down and create new ones! This can be a fun family project and can be a huge money saver. They may not be brand new, but you might already have all the school supplies you need in your home, waiting to be used.
This can also be applied to electronics. Do you have old computers, laptops, or tables that can be refurbished and passed down? How about old pairs of headphones? Can you turn an unused room in your home into a home classroom with pieces of furniture you or your family members already have? Also, there is nothing wrong with sharing. Yes, we know this can be a huge challenge with multiple children. This will have to be a planned effort by the whole family, but you can do it!
5. Make The Most Of It
As we've mentioned in previous blogs, going out to eat can add up very quickly, as can getting delivery. The same goes for school lunches. If your child is going back to school in person, do packed lunches and snacks, and eat breakfast at home. These meals can be added to your monthly budget and can help you cut down on outside expenses. Also, look into buying in bulk. Costco and Sams Club do have excellent deals on electronics, but their initial fame came from their bulk-sized products. Buy in bulk, meal prep, and freeze! Getting a membership to these big stores might seem expensive, but you can get cash back and other perks to make it worth your while and benefit your budget.
Needing extra child care? Ask your tribe first. Can a family member or friend help out? Can you join a nanny pool with your friends and their children who you've already spent time with during quarantine? How about hiring a tutor or personal teacher for your safe bubble of friends and their children? This can cut down costs, give your children personalized attention in their lessons, and help them continue to socialize like they would in class!
When it comes to school activities, we know that you want your child to be involved with as much as possible. You want them to experience new things, spend time with friends and make new friends, add potential skills and experiences for their college applications, and find things that could help them in their future careers. With the pandemic of 2020, the opportunity to participate has been drastically reduced due to safety measures. Many artistic activities like theater, band, and choir have been canceled along with many indoor sports. Remember, when things get back to normal, your children don't have to do them all. Sports, dance, theater, and any after school program and activity can seriously begin to add up. Pay to play, costumes, equipment, private teachers and coaches, can all add to those expenses. Limit your child's activities to one or two, and let them truly invest their time and abilities to those chosen activities. This will also be a big money and time-saver for you and your whole family.
Always remember that even while you're making a budget for the school year, continue to make a budget for the whole year. Once the school year is over, that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep it as part of your year-round budget. This can help you save more money for the upcoming school year, and not feel pinched once you have to readjust to those expenses come September. It can help you keep on a consistent and steady track with your budget and your finances without giving you a heart attack at the end of every quarter or change of season. After all, that's a pretty fantastic goal to keep, right?
We hope that this blog series has helped you plan out your future or current school spending, and how you might look at the 2021 school year's spending as well. With the uncertainty that 2020 is still giving us, it doesn't look like 2021 will be much different. So, while you might have already purchased everything you need this year, or you're still currently in the middle of the process, you will have more time to choose how you plan out your budget from today forward. 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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