Back to School on a Budget

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's hard to imagine that summer vacation is coming to an end...the days are still long and warm, sleeping-in continues to be the fashion and you may still have another road trip in store. There’s no denying that the economy is having an effect on plans for back-to-school spending.

Here are a few ideas designed to help you get the biggest bang with fewer back-to-school bucks.

1. Make a plan -- Develop a shopping list and a strategy. What would you like to purchase this year? What do you need to purchase this year? How do the two lists overlap? Is any trimming necessary?

2. Set a budget -- Make certain it’s a realistic budget that can include all of the items on your list. Try not to overspend before school starts. There are plenty of unexpected expenses that are likely to crop up in the early months of the new school year.

3. Where to Shop -- Discount stores, office supply superstores, online stores, and other retail outlets offer a variety of ways to stretch your school-bound spending. Keep an eye out for sales flyers for all of your area stores, especially the larger chain stores. Match the flyers and the prices to your shopping list and budget. Don’t let the flyers create a new—and even bigger—shopping list for you.

4. If you can affort to -- Stock up on items that the kids will need throughout the year. Are your kids old enough to use notebook paper? Be sure to buy a few extra packages so that you will have some on hand when they run out. The last thing you want to do is to have to make a late night run to the store so that your son or daughter can do his homework.

More Back to School Tips coming soon!

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