The school year is back already and you can hear the mixed emotions of
parents everywhere. The cheers of a little peace and quiet and the boos
of the mountain of school supplies that need to be purchased. Here are
some things that you may have to budget for throughout the school year.
A lot of attention has been focused on the escalating gas prices this year. Setting up a carpool is an efficient way to ease the burden on your gas tank. The more people in the car pool the less you will have to drive.
If you are fortunate enough to live close to the school then you can walk your children to school. You may even let them ride their bikes to school. You will want to go over all the bike safety rules though.
Watch the circulars and paper for tax-free shopping days. Many states allow a week where all clothes and supplies can be bought tax-free.
Many students in college are pursuing a degree that requires extensive computer use. The problem is that you may not have a computer or yours is very outdated. You may be able to include those costs into your financial aid and student loans. This can be easier than financing through the computer company because student loans generally carry a lower interest rates.
For other big purchase items like furniture and electronics, search for display models. These are things that were used for in-store displays and demonstrations. They may be a little dinged up but can save you a ton when the store is looking to get rid of it.
Avoid buying pre-packaged lunches from the grocery store. Instead buy the ingredients to make sandwiches. You will be saving yourself a considerable amount of money by taking a few extra minutes each night to prepare a lunch for the next day. You can also pack leftovers for your child's lunch. Find out beforehand if there is a way for them to reheat it, if not than just stick to food that does not need to be reheated.
You may also purchase school lunch tickets. There are also programs that are aimed at assisting families who have a limited income. Contact your school to find out what options may be available for school lunches.
Use cash when making purchases. Save extra throughout the summer if you have to but you don’t want to have to use your credit card on supplies so that you are paying them off over the next few months.
The beginning of the school year should come as no big surprise for anyone that has kids. This should allow you to properly budget for the upcoming school year. Continue to keep an eye on sales throughout the year and enjoy your child’s education.
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It is our policy at Pioneer Credit Counseling not only to help people get out of debt, but also educate in sound budgeting practices.
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