3 Ways To Avoid Back-to-School Overspending
Sure, you went back to school shopping with your kids in the summer, but every parent knows there’s a second wind. They might need a new calculator that wasn’t on your first supply list, or they may need a new tablet after their device dies after the first day. Whatever it is, you’re stuck with the bill, and this second trip to the stores can do a number on your bank account.
No matter how hard you try to stick to your budget, there always seems to be ‘just a bit’ missing. Your budget may dip into the red if you’re not careful, or sometimes you don’t have a choice and need to find solutions! Here are three tips to help you keep your finances under control this fall.
1. Enlist your phone for help
It doesn’t matter what’s on your list or where you plan to get them—whether you plan to fill your cart online or load an actual push cart with four wheels. As long as you’re shopping for their return to class, you should have your phone with you. It’s not just a way to text other parents about a fantastic deal or Google the address of your next store. The smartphone in your hand can save you money when you’re shopping for back to school supplies.
You can use it as a resource for ideas. With just a few taps, you can find tips to help you save money in every area of your life, from back to school shopping to the holidays. You can also download tools that will change what you pay at the till. There’s an app for everything nowadays, and that’s especially true about your shopping. You can find an app that offers coupons on the items you need and rebates on the stuff you’ve already bought. You can even download apps that help you locate where you can find the absolute lowest prices on the things on your list.
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There are always purchases that you make that can also save money. While it may seem counterintuitive, the right purchases that may cost money up front can save more than they cost down the road. For example, many families are choosing to purchase a water dispenser for their home and carry reusable water bottles, instead of buying bottled water at the grocery store. It’s easy to find the right water dispenser for your needs, and this is just an example of long-term financial thinking that can save money down the road.
2. Take advantage of their student ID
The student ID in your child’s wallet isn’t just proof you’ve spent thousands of dollars on the fall semester. It’s a way to get discounts or rebates while you shop. In some cases, the student fees you’ve paid will cover the cost of a local transit pass. You can also wield the power of their ID online. Amazon Student Prime offers students free access to Prime for six months with the option for a reduced rate afterward.
There’s also a huge list of retailers and restaurants that offer discounts to high school and college students with valid IDs, so you need to remind your child to keep their card handy whenever you go out to shop together. A bonus, your teenage student, may know some alternative sites or ways to find coupons that you didn’t know about!
3. Know your backup plan
Another year at school can be expensive. Between books, a new laptop, and a fall wardrobe, things add up. They can quickly add up to more than you anticipated. A solid financial plan will be able to absorb these costs with little fuss; you may have to make some sacrifices in the weeks following your shopping spree, but otherwise, you won’t be at risk for missing other bills or payments. Unfortunately, if your plan is a little rocky, back to shopping has a more significant influence on your day-to-day finances. Spend too much, and you might not have enough to cover essential bills or unexpected repairs.
Things, unfortunately, happen. Back to school coincides with a time you’re naturally making household upgrades to winterize your home. Your yearly maintenance might reveal you need to make repairs to your furnace that you can’t afford on your own. Depending on where you live, you can’t ignore a faulty furnace either.
In places across the country that experience a deep winter freeze, homeowners need to make repairs right away — which is why homeowners search for the fastest payday loan opportunities that are available. A fast-acting payday loan can fill the holes in your budget when you don’t have the savings to cover an essential repair like a broken furnace. Online lenders like GoDay realize the urgency of finding financial assistance, so they process applications in as little as five minutes and issue approved loans in just one hour. Wherever you live, online payday loans tend to be faster than traditional personal loans.
Shopping for back to school supplies can be tricky when you don’t have a lot of expendable cash, but that doesn’t mean your child has to go without. You can strike a balance between their needs and your finances if you’re willing to put in the work. Your efforts now won’t just help during the fall semester. The lessons you learn along the way can help you save all year round.