Monson Savings Bank Shares Back-to-School Budget Tips
The summer is coming to an end and fall is right around the corner. That means school is about to be back in session! The start of a new school year can be exciting for students and their parents, but it also can be an expensive and stressful time of year. According to a 2020 CNBC report, last year on average parents planned on spending $529 per student back-to-school shopping.
To help ease your stress, Monson Savings Bank has put together these tips to help you save money this school season:
- Save throughout the year- Consider opening a savings account and putting away a little bit of money each month throughout the year. When it’s time to go school shopping, you will already have funds. Pro tip: open a savings account dedicated to school supplies shopping. Having multiple savings accounts dedicated to specific needs will help you to budget and save more efficiently. Get started with a Monson Savings Bank Savings Account.
- Look over the school supplies list- Schools typically provide parents with a recommended school supplies lists. Reviewing this list as soon as it becomes available will help you determine what you can reuse from last year and what needs to be bought this year.
- Develop a budget- Once you know what you will need to buy, set a budget. Budget beyond the school supply list, consider the cost of shoes, clothing, and sports equipment. When you are creating your budget, it’s a good idea to budget for the whole year. For example, if your child plays a spring sport, factor the associated expenses into your beginning of the school year budget.
- Reuse- You probably have left over school supplies from past years. Pens, pencils, binders, and folders are just a few of the school supplies that you can probably reuse. Reusing past year’s school supplies is not only good for your wallet, it’s good for the environment. Reusing old supplies means that those supplies are not ending up in a land fill, along with the packaging from the new supplies. If you have old school supplies that you do not need, but are still in good condition, consider donating it. If you cannot reuse or donate items, consider recycling them.
- Sell old supplies- Another way to prevent waste, and bulk up your wallet, is selling old supplies. If your older school supplies are in good condition you can post them on a platform like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or OfferUp. The money you make can go towards new supplies for this year.
- Buy second hand- Alternatively, surfing websites that sell second hand items, like the ones mentioned above, is a great way to save money. Thrift stores can also be a great place to find gently used school supplies. When you buy second hand items you are being sustainable and saving your hard earned money.
- Skip the rush- Shopping at the end of the school year for the upcoming year or waiting until the first or second week of school to shop can save you some money. Many retailers will jack up prices during the “back to school rush,” so shopping off season can help to cut costs.
- Look for sales and use coupons- Wait to buy school supplies until you see a great sale or when you receive coupons. A little bit of savings here and there will quickly add up!
- Student discounts- Many stores offer a student discount. Do research before you shop to find stores that offer these discounts. Remember to bring a student ID, which most stores require as proof of school enrollment.
- Shop local- This tip might not save you money, but it is important for your local economy. When possible, support local businesses by purchasing your back-to-school needs from a local retailer.
Back-to-school should be a fun time of the year for parents and students. It is important to spend a little extra time with one another before the school year starts, so consider using some of the money you saved with these tips on a nice family dinner before the beginning of the school year. We hope that these tips help to alleviate some of the stress that comes along with back-to-school shopping so that everyone in your home can enjoy the end of the summer together.
To learn more about everyday finances visit Monson Savings Bank’s Life and Money Blog.