Back-to-school shopping can be stressful. First, it can be very expensive. School supplies, backpacks, clothes, sneakers, electronics and technology can add up to nearly $700 per child. There never seems to be enough time, supplies and selections can be limited, and shipping may be delayed. Add in pre-teens, tweens and teens to the mix and you can have an anxious couple of weeks.
Here are 5 ways you can improve back to school shopping:
- Start Early – Some are better than others and luckily many schools are starting later this year so use this time wisely. 2-3 weeks should be enough time for you to prepare list and your kids wants, create a budget, search for deals, then shop. Most importantly, don’t procrastinate like my son on his American History project.
- Make a List – Organization is key to reducing back-to-school shopping stress. It also allows you to create a budget, compare prices, find deals and shop on your time.
- Create a Budget – There is a lot of uncertainty right now about how school will go in the COVID-19 fall semester and a lot of challenges facing moms and dads. On average standard classroom supplies cost $117, new sneakers cost $136, computers and electronics around $200, and fall fashions nearly $240. That’s almost $700 per child which does not include the need for more technology this year, added expense of increased utilities for e-learning or “school” lunches.
- Search for Deals – There are several ways to save on back-to-school necessities. First, take inventory at your home. Most of us have drawers, cabinets, and boxes full of useful school supplies. Search online for more expensive items and coupons or promo codes. There are also swapping sites. ABC News created a great link to help you find “Digital Ways to Save”
- Start Online, Finish Retail – And finally, start the process by shopping online first then as you make runs to the store pick up items as you go. Of course, many of us will wait until the last minute like we did in school cramming for that chemistry test so the late-night dash to the big box store is in many of our futures.
When you need a little help to on the extra cost of back-to-school shopping, CashMax can help: