Ahhh the summer break, that magical time of year every parent thinks about during the stressful moments of the school year. Summer is the time of year that both parents and children alike, take some much needed time to relax, recharge, and get ready for getting back to school.
And I know it feels like summer has only just started, but the cold hard truth is that it’s nearly over and the school year start date is fast approaching on the calendar.
Yes, school starts again in just over two weeks. And there are plenty of things to do to make sure you don’t overspend as your kids head back to the classroom. Here’s 5 back to school budget savers to help you…
Make a list of what you’ve got
One of the biggest forms of back to school over spending comes through over buying. Over buying happens because you haven’t kept a written record of what you have already got. And the two main areas you really need to know about are are clothes and school supplies. So quickly check all the school bags, pencil cases, wardrobes, drawers and even the ironing pile. Have your school supply list handy and list down all the items you already have, and then make a list of all the items you need to fill in the gaps.
Compare spending from last year
What you didn’t keep a list or spreadsheet covering school spending for the last 12 months?
Well you’d better start doing it from this year then. It makes it much easy for you to remember exactly what you spent on back to school last year so you can set an accurate budget for the following year.
If you did (or next year if you didn’t), check through your records to evaluate all of the expenses coming your way in the next 11 months. Don’t forget things like printing at home, technology fees, lunch money, uniform or sports costs, school supplies, school trips, bus fares and fund raising.
Set a back to school budget
Once you’ve identified (or guessed) what you spent last year against what extra things you need to buy this year, you need to set a budget for your back to school spending. Set an overall amount for the year and then break it down into categories. We have 3 children & here’s our example:
- £200 for replacement printer cartridges
- £100 for technology rental
- £1,755 for lunches
- £600 for uniform & sports costs
- £300 for school supplies
- £1,000 for school trips
- £600 for bus fares
- £200 in fuel
- £150 in fund raising
With teens, you could let them manage their own money when it comes to supplies & sports. But you will need to give some guidance. And back to school shopping can be a great way to begin teaching your children about money.
Stick to a list
Surely everyone loves school supplies and everyone loves big bargains. These two things can create a buying frenzy if your not careful. For this reason, you need to make a list and stick to it.
Although, during this time of year keep your eyes peeled for a bargain to help you save money too. Many school supplies organisations will launch promotions in mid August to sell off access stock before autumn.
Best one I’ve come across this year is a home printing package that comes with a back to school supplies pack free.
We spend over £200 a year on replacement printer cartridges (£200 just for homework). And this printing package comes with the latest wireless printer and an unlimited amount of replacement cartridges for just £132 a year, saving us over 50%.
It’s supplied and supported by MY Total Office Solutions under their INFINITY brand. They have a great reputation and have been around for over 15 years. You can buy it from their website https://www.neverbuyinkagain.com
Spread the cost
You probably don’t need to buy everything at once. Although, you will need to bring in the required classroom items. But you can wait when it comes to purchasing many things. Put a hold on purchasing backpacks and lunch boxes and start the year with last year’s instead.
Go ahead and choose a first day of school outfit, but more than likely your children won’t need an entire new wardrobe. And if you’re patient, by September, most of the back to school items will be on sale as Tesco’s, ASDA & Marks make way for their Autumn lines.
You can also spread the cost of your home printing too. Instead of shelling out £50 or £60 3 or 4 times a year on a set of replacement cartridges. Just go and order INFINITY by MY Total Office Solutions and get the latest wireless multi-function printer with unlimited replacement cartridges for just £11.99 a month. And you’ll never have to buy another printer again, as it includes full support (fix or replace) too.