Aug 07, 2018 / Credit

4 Money Saving Ideas for the School Year

Back-to-school season is one of the most expensive times of the year. There are books to buy and tuition to pay. And If you have little ones, back-to-school clothes, backpacks, computers, fees, and supplies don’t come cheap. But with this impending demand for your dollars, there are a few tricks to save money. Here are 4 money saving ideas for going back to school.

1. Make a Spending Plan

The cost of going back to school is on the rise. In fact, as much as 60% of parents struggle to afford back-to-school supplies. According to a recent study, the average cost of going back to school for elementary school students is $662 per student. And those costs only increase as kids get older. The average cost of sending a middle schooler back to school coming in at just over $1,000 per student and the average cost of sending a high schooler to school coming in at a whopping $1,489. Still, there are ways parents can spend less. And the best place to start is by making a back-to-school spending plan. List everything that you’ll need to buy, create a budget, and try to stick to your plan as best you can.

2. Use a Credit Card Wisely

If you’re currently a little short on cash thanks to all those summer vacations, having a credit card that can pay you back in savings and rewards can be a big help. Find a credit card that fits your lifestyle and gives you extra money-savings perks, like cell phone protection and rewards points that you can redeem for back-to-school shopping gift certificates. When used correctly, a credit card can be a great way to get your shopping done quickly and conveniently. Just remember as a rule of thumb, it’s good to keep your credit card balance below 30% of your credit limit and pay it off before it accrues too much interest.

3. Prioritize Your Purchases

An important part of back-to-school shopping is finding good deals. But it’s also important to prioritize your search for sales. You’ll likely find inexpensive everyday items like pens, pencils, folders, etc. at just about any big box store. But if you or your family has to buy something a little pricier, like a computer, tablet, or phone, you should focus your money-saving efforts there. Starting now, keep an eye out for sales on the expensive stuff you need to buy. Look online, pop by stores, and talk to friends. With a few weeks’ head start, you’re bound to find a good deal for your big-ticket purchases.

4. Open a Checking Account

One great way to save money this back-to-school season is to open up a checking account that fits your lifestyle. With the right checking account, you can earn dividends and/or rewards, and save time and money with on-the-go mobile banking features like mobile deposit and direct deposit. Plus, with all the money you’re spending to go back to school, forgiving overdraft protection can help you shop worry-free. Not all checking accounts are created equal. So, if you’re still taking a one-size-fits-all approach to your checking account, consider finding one that fits your family’s unique needs and makes your back-to-school season a little less stressful.

Yes, going back to school is expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Create a budget, prioritize your purchases, and use a credit card and checking account that reward you for your purchases to make this back-to-school season a breeze.