To say your children are sad to go back to school would be an understatement. Like most kids, they prefer the freedom of summer, and they aren’t ready to give it up just yet. But let’s be honest — your kids aren’t the only ones who aren’t prepared for the back-to-school season. Neither are you when you’re expected to drop over $800 on back-to-school shopping. You can easily ruin your household budget trying to get them ready for the classroom. If you want to get through the fall without going broke, you should check in with the following back-to-school tips.
Arm yourself with a budget and a list
The easiest way to go over budget is by not knowing your limits. Sit down and look over your finances to determine how much you can afford on your children’s new clothes and school supplies. Most budgets can be tweaked, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have as much as you think. Use a guide like this one to help you target spending habits that waste the money you could otherwise spend on your kids. When you’re able to cut out unnecessary purchases from your daily, weekly, or even monthly life, you can save a lot more than you realize.
A list is a guiding hand once you enter the store, helping you to stick to your budget. Without it, it’s easy to let superfluous items into your cart and blow up your total at the till.
Protect your budget against emergencies
At $800, the average parent’s back-to-school bill is higher than what they spend on Christmas. With these kinds of figures, your budget walks a very thin line. One unnecessary purchase or splurge has the power to topple your finances. Don’t be ashamed if your budget fails. Sometimes they do. What’s important is how you recover from these setbacks.
Some struggling families may be able to rely on help from the government. Take, for example, Canadian families eligible for the Canada Child Benefit. These parents may be able to get help paying for the essentials. But if your finances are stretched too thin after back-to-school shopping and you can’t cover essential bills or repairs, check in with a national online lender like GoDay. With offices in Vancouver and Toronto, and an online platform that supports borrowers everywhere else in between, they are a convenient and easy way to fix your finances with the fastest payday loans Vancouver and Toronto have available. They offer the best payday loans Canada has to offer thanks in part to their online services. Their website processes requests 24/7, so you can receive your payday loan faster online than through traditional means.
Don’t let the stigma surrounding used clothing, shoes, and other items on your list from checking out the second-hand economy. The second hand market for children’s clothes is a great resource for cash-strapped parents. Apps like KidsZoneand Reshopper give parents a convenient place to post and shop for used items. Make a profile and see if you can find what you need for the fall, but don’t delete the app once the school year starts. You can resell these items once your children outgrow them and earn a slight profit on clothes that need to leave your closet.
Use apps to find deals
Your phone isn’t just a convenient way to track down your kids when you lose them in the shopping mall. It can be your efficient shopping assistant as long as you download the right apps. Use this guide to find the apps worthy of your time. It includes apps that offer special deals on eligible items, that offer cash back at participating retailers, and that help locate the store that sells your must-have item at the lowest price in your area.
Using these apps to your full advantage will take some time, as will making a budget and a list, but these money-saving techniques are worth the effort. They can help you prepare for this expensive time of year and cover your back-to-school costs without going broke.