Save on Back to School
September is a difficult month for parents and college students. The new school year and semester starts, and the costs of books, clothes, shoes and all other kinds of necessary materials could draw a small country into poverty. Imagine then, how it is for a family to try to afford these costs, either if they have a single child or several. The older they get, the more they require, to the point where you start wondering how it is even possible to afford all of it. There are, however, several tricks to save some bucks on your back to school supplies that will come handy to you.
You may well know people that, like you, need to stock up on supplies and also try to save money. Set up exchanges of items with them, like clothes swaps. Implement rules so nobody takes advantage or leaves rags and takes almost new items; this is a good way of getting second-hand items if your child doesn’t have older siblings to recycle from. Another good idea is asking relatives and friends for items they might have at home and are not being used, like notebooks, pencils, calculators or backpacks. It is very likely that most of them have something, and these little things, while cheap in units, add up to a big sum that can eat an awfully large part of your budget.
Second Hand and Free Textbooks
Again, this one works well enough if you have older children that already used the books you need now, but if not, go to second-hand bookshops and search the internet. Most online shops nowadays have used books, as well as discounts and deals if you check a bit earlier in the season. You can also gather together with all the parents in your child’s class and buy en-masse directly from the printing house and get some group discounts. eBooks are growing popular as well, and they are usually cheaper than paper books, if not totally free on occasion. Give this method a chance when you buy books for your children if you have a digital support for them to use, like a Kindle or eReader.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
This last one is important as well, and won’t take too much effort. Don’t wait for the last minute to get your supplies. If you do, you run the risk of being too late to the party and having to do with either too expensive items or low quality ones. With textbooks, it’s especially important, since it can be a catastrophe if you can’t get your needed texts before the term starts. There is plenty of time during summer to start calculating the numbers, buying certain items, and getting ahead. Before preparing your vacations, sit down and calculate the budget for school supplies so you don’t spend too much of your money in a fancy family trip and then find yourself scrapping every penny available in September. Try to keep track of the tax free holidays and what stores have discounts on what dates so you can make the most out of your money, and going back to school will be less to dread and more to look forward, both for your children and yourself.