Back to School Money Saving Tips

It seems like just last week that your kids were bringing home the jackets and mittens you hadn’t seen since December and already in a month or so many students will already be going back to the classroom to lose them all over again. Additionally, you may have a kid in college which might just require taking out a loan just for textbooks and technology.

It’s easy to succumb to the “great” deals printed on flashy flyers and to the pleas of your children for the coolest lunchboxes or the newest laptops and many a well-meaning parent has gone school shopping with a frugal mindset and instead ended up breaking the bank. However, this doesn’t have to be the case! With some strategy, creativity, and willpower you can get great school supplies and keep both your kids and bank account happy.

Don’t buy what you already have. You have more supplies in your house than you probably realize. Maybe one of your older kids has all the books that your younger one now needs to read for English. Maybe that graph paper your child “needed” last year still has 98 pages out of 100 left. Going through your junk drawers and kids’ desks and closets can yield a surprising treasure trove of supplies that you won’t need to rebuy saving you a considerable amount of cash.

Do your research and get smart with your smartphone. It’s time to put that mini-computer in your pocket to good use. There are dozens of apps and websites that allow you to scan barcodes and compare prices before you buy an item that may be a few dollars cheaper at another store. Shopping online also might be a good option for you and your family as many online retailers offer cheaper prices and may even offer free shipping. If shopping online doesn’t suit your style, buying commonly used supplies like pens, pencils, and paper in bulk at wholesale retailers might and will definitely save you cash down the road when your kids inevitably lose them. Additionally, many states offer tax-free days which can get you more bang for your buck if you’re buying expensive tech or new clothes for all of your kids.

Take advantage of student discounts. Shopping for your college student doesn’t have to cost as much as their tuition. Once your child has a student ID they will be allowed to get discounts on everything from computers and software to insurance, bank accounts, transportation passes/cards, gym memberships, phones, and even clothing.

Be patient so you can save on your kid’s style. It’s probably happened to you or a parent you know, your kid begs for the latest clothes or “coolest” lunchboxes or folders only to come home on the first day of school and beg to go to the store because what was cool last year isn’t this year. Clothes always end up being the most expensive back to school purchases so avoid wasting your money and wait until your kid can give you a firsthand report on what’s trendy and in style.

Shopping for school doesn’t have to be stressful. Just make sure that you are a well-informed consumer and know when and where prices are going to be at their lowest so that you’re sure to get a bargain without breaking the bank.

Northwest Georgia Bank offers a variety of personal loans for families in need of some extra back to school cash.

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