The back-to-school period is quite possibly the most chaotic time of year. Moving up a grade is exciting for a child but it can be an expensive and exhausting experience as a parent. Between ensuring the kids have done their homework, planning chores, and extracurricular activities, the budget can slip and stress can rise. While we can’t help you keep on top of everything, we can offer some tips. Here are four ways to save on back-to-school supplies.
Avoid Costly Rental Agreements
One of the fastest ways to blow the budget is by getting sucked into rental agreements that are designed to generate profit rather than promote education. Although it may not seem like you have other options, these schemes should be avoided, as you’ll end up paying more in the long run. Fast cash loans can be better for your budget’s bottom line when managed correctly with a lender who has suitable repayment terms. Consider this option first before signing expensive rental agreements.
Unless your child’s school specifically requires them to have hard copies of textbooks and other learning resources, consider purchasing digital versions instead. Not only will it be kinder to the environment, but they’re also more convenient and portable than heavy textbooks. Most schools require students to have laptops or other portable devices for use as learning tools. If your child needs a physical copy of a textbook, consider asking another student or searching the catalog at your local library.
Buy Second Hand
Many things that your kids will need this year will be useless in twelve months’ time. While some materials will see a second year, many necessary items can be purchased secondhand or handed down from older children in the family. This is a great way to get larger uniforms without forking out hundreds of dollars. However, things such as calculators, textbooks, lab equipment, and electronic devices can all be purchased cheaply if you know where to look and don’t mind a little cosmetic damage.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
Many schools will list pens, highlighters, and other consumables on the book list every year to ensure students have everything they need to be prepared for the coming year. Although it is important to ensure they have functional stationery and fresh workbooks, anything that hasn’t run out from last year can continue to be used until they run out. It may not seem like much but at a time when every dollar counts, it could be the difference between having everything you need within your budget and spreading yourself a bit too thin.
The back to school season is often hectic but by sitting down and planning, you can find ways to save money and keep the budget in check. Don’t be sucked in by marketing gimmicks or fall for the idea that top of the line equipment is going to somehow increase your child’s academic performance. The amount of tools and gadgets they need to succeed is less than you think. At the end of the day, a pen writes just as well if it cost fifty cents as it does if it cost ten dollars. Things can be added or upgraded later and your kids will have a more positive start to the school year with a happy parent than they will with the latest gadgets.