How much better would it be if back to school shopping was less stressful? I want to show you how you can change your back to school shopping experience with a little planning before you get started!
The most important step that you need to tackle is the money, you need to know how much money you have and how much you need for all the back to school items your children need.
This is simpler than it sounds, don’t worry I will walk you through the process!
Tips For Back To School Budget
The best way is to save money throughout the year with the desired outcome for this money is to buy the school supplies that your child needs.
However, if you have not managed to save any money for the new school year then it is important that you try and manage this year without going into debt by cutting back in areas of your budget to find the money you need.
If you have saved money even for just a couple of months you are in a better position financially, but you still need to make the right choices with the money you have available.
The best way to do this is to create a list for each child, what they need and what they want, often these are two different lists, I found it best to compromise on some things to get the right balance so you are happy and so are your children!
Organizing Back To School Lists
There are different ways to create your school lists, you can just use what the school provides or you can create your own.
I always preferred to create my own and always one list for each child, if there were items the same I would mark these to identify possible saving opportunities.
It is important to work individually with each child to ensure that you have taken into account what they already have and the items they need and what items they would like.
It’s important to discuss money with your children, teach them that there isn’t a limitless supply of money and there is a budget that they need to stick with, this helps when going through the ‘want’ list with your child, they have to learn to work out what is important to them and make choices.
This helps with learning about the cost of an item and how much money is needed and how much money available!
Creating Your Back To School Budget
The amount of budget available will depend if you have saved any money or that you are hoping that a miracle will happen and money will fall from the sky.
The second is unlikely and to avoid putting school supplies on credit, try to see if there is any spare cash in your budget that you can use, you might need to reduce your grocery bill for a couple of weeks to pull this together!
It is always better to save and if you start putting money aside, then if there is a request for money for a trip, you will have the money available and not worry that you will have to borrow the money or even put it on credit.
There are no set rules as to the best way to create a budget; it will depend on what works for you. If you prefer a paper and pen budget then you will have sums to work out, whereas the advantage of a spreadsheet or an accounting program the maths is in the programming.
What is important is finding the money to pay for the school supplies. If you have saved money it will be ready, if you haven’t put any aside you will need to find this in your finances, which will mean that some areas where you are able to reduce can help to pay for the expenses, including groceries, eating out and entertainment.
I prefer a pen and paper approach and you have to start somewhere so I start with the money I’ve saved.
- Create a master list of all the things you need.
- I like to have an idea of the costs of each item, you can easily do this online and this helps to see if you need more money than you’ve saved!
I’ve written an article on budgeting: It’s Easy To Make A Budget.
Break Down Your Budget
Talking through with your children about the budget and what they need is important.
You might have enough for the items they need but not for something, they want and it is about working out your budget and looking for options that satisfy their needs, along with the requirements of the school.
It is, however, important to listen to them, if they don’t like something chances are they will refuse to wear the item or use it and for this reason, it is better to find something you both like to avoid wasting money on items that will never see the light of day!
With the internet, it makes school shopping easier because either you can do all your shopping online or, you can check for the best prices before venturing to the shops.
If you physically go to the shops it is important to factor in the cost of travel, food, and parking into your budget as this can reduce the amount available to spend on your school supplies.
If you have multiple children, it’s easier to do shopping for one child at a time, it reduces stress and anxiety for everyone!
What You Need To Do
- Create a list of wants and needs for each child for their school supplies
- Check how much money you have; do you need to find extra money rather than putting any purchases on credit?
- Work out a budget for each child, it might not be the same, some children need different things depending on their age and the school requirements.
- Go through your budget with your child, this is an important step, they need to talk about money and budgeting from a young age, so they are aware of where the money is coming from!
- Talk about compromising with your child to make sure you both agree on the items you buy.
- Start saving for next year’s school supplies now!
Budgeting is important in all aspects of your life, the more you control your money the easier it becomes!
The idea for creating a back to school budget helps to identify what money you have and what money you need.
Talking with your child about money is important, it helps them to learn from a young age just how important budgeting is and controlling the money you have rather than letting it control you!
Start creating your back to school budget now!