Are you ready for the new school year?
Whether you’re preparing for your first year of college, or are taking your kids to their first day of preschool, keeping your to-do lists and to-buy lists simple will lead to a productive and cost-efficient year!
Simplify What You Need
With a whole new school year around the corner, it’s easy to get distracted by dreaming about the endless new things you want to buy. While you can keep your goals high for your achievements this year, it’s important to keep your to-buy list under control. Save money this September by first identifying which items are your 'wants' and which items are your 'needs'!
For example, if a new popular laptop case has caught your eye but you already have an existing one, consider continuing to use your old case first and prioritize spending that money on an essential item instead - such as your monthly cell phone bill or weekly groceries!
Once your to-buy list has been sorted between 'wants' and 'needs' you’ll be able to see just how much money you’ll need to budget for your 'needs' first, and just how much money you may have left over to spend on items on your 'want' list such as concert tickets, a day at an amusement park, or new shoes!
Learn to Bargain Hunt
Who doesn’t like to save a few bucks? Back to school means back to an exciting and new environment full of many creative ways to get saving.
With new classmates and/or roommates, see if you can offer a service in exchange for something they can provide. For example, if you know your classmate is exceptionally skilled at fixing things, but perhaps is not doing as well as you are in a particular class, try offering a tutoring session in exchange for having them fix something of yours that needs some repairing, like a desk or a window!
Another way to save is to trade items with friends too. This can include well-cared for knapsacks, lamps and desk equipment, or lightly used clothing in exchange for their old items.
Many college campuses are also located close to communities and neighborhoods too, so when possible, keep an eye out for local yard sales where you may be able to find great deals on essentials. Many colleges also offer back-to-school sales which can help you save money on essential items such as used textbooks, agendas, and pens. Also be sure to check out online Facebook groups or dedicated school websites that offer textbook resales too.
Save Money in the Kitchen
Time to think about daily lunches when heading back to school! Whether you are preparing them for the kids or for yourself, planning and cooking ahead of time can lead you to a day full of accomplishments!
Sticking with your individual nutrition needs, shopping local at farmers markets for produce that’s in season can help you save money at the check-out. Also, buying certain food items in bulk such as pasta sauces, popcorn, eggs, or orange juice may cost you more upfront but the items typically have a longer shelf life and therefore can end up saving you more money in the long run.
Check out this article (link opens in new window) featuring the top bulk items to buy.
Reminder: if you know you have a busy week upcoming, due to exams, practices, or rehearsals, which will allow for little time in the kitchen, ensure to budget in for extra coffees or meals out with the team too!
Sell What You No Longer Need
One person’s loss can be another’s treasure!
If you have some personal items, such as clothes, shoes, gloves, or board games that you no longer use, try using social media, Facebook marketplace, or other online platforms to sell your goods to local buyers. This is a great way to ensure your items find a new loving home while earning you some money, and can also be a good way to teach younger kids how to start earning their own money. This activity will be fun! Let your kids run their own business for a day, as they plan for their very own yard sale where they can not only learn entrepreneurial skills while setting up their shop, but also learn money principles too!
Also, with that money you earn, you can even treat the young ones on a job well done by grabbing them some fun, warm socks, hats, or gloves to keep them warmer in cooler fall temperatures coming this Fall.
If you have the means, donating items to a donation center, charity, or a friend can help your community too. Remember, getting back to school and giving back to the community can leave a lasting impact on those who need it!
Staying financially savvy and looking for ways to save are steps to take for a successful year ahead. We hope you have a fantastic back-to-school season!