The Gen XY Lifestyle

Back to school soon? 5 smart ways to save money on school supplies

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Back-to-school expenses have been part of seasonal expenditure for most parents. Every new school year, students and parents cannot avoid but get stressed about shopping for school supplies. This has become more challenging especially since schools have largely gone digital with laptops or tablets.

With the current pandemic, schools have also become more flexible when keeping up with lockdowns or looking to supplement children’s learning with home-based learning activities.

Link to parent-child balance and also emotional + mental wellbeing by learning to anticipate and prepare early. No leaving things to the last minute.

Here are 5 smart ways to save money for school supplies to reduce frustration and tears:

Create a shopping list

To determine the needs of your kids, you need to create your shopping list first. Choose the supplies your children need the most.

You can ask the teachers for a checklist of school supplies that your children might need. From there, you can set a budget for the potential cost. Then, you can start adding items considered optional.

You can get your children involved with the budgeting. That way, they will learn how to focus on their needs and also pick up some finance basics.

Round-up supplies at home

Before you head to the store, gather all the old supplies at home. Check your children’s storage box or old school bags. Sort through the items and see whether there are items that are still working well. It is always better to reuse and recycle old supplies before buying a new one.

You can look online for some ways to recycle old school materials. There are several DIY videos on YouTube nowadays. You can also fix broken items and turn old school supplies into usable material. This is also a teachable moment for parents to use to share about both recycling and upcycling.

Swap supplies with friends

After sorting through and identifying the usable items, ask your children about school pieces they no longer want to use. Contact your friends or neighbours and find those that are willing to trade school items with you.

This way could be a bit unconventional to some parents. But trying a swap might help you save money.

Perhaps your child’s clothes do not fit anymore? You can trade with families that have younger children. Imagine a scenario where one family has extra notebooks and the other has extra pens, they can look to exchange some of the pens for a notebook.

Shop and compare prices online with special sales and discounts

Most online stores offer low-cost items, even in bulk orders. Some online shops even offer free shipping. But to get the best deals, you should read reviews from past clients thoroughly.

Do not settle by looking at only one online shop for your items. It is always better to keep your options open. You may also apply coupons that will guarantee you discounts.

You can install mobile applications that offer cash-back promos. This is a promo where you can get back a percentage from your payment in exchange for the amount of your purchase.

Stores and online shops usually offer special sales and promo coupons. So, it would be best if you do not let opportunities pass. You can save money when you take advantage of deals and promos.

After visiting both online shops and retail stores, you can compare the prices of the items you need.

Timing-wise, during the start of the school year or at the end of each school holiday, both digital and retail stores usually offer discounts. Some of them even offer vouchers and coupons as well. Some ways to get these coupons include visiting the stores, browsing through their website and signing up for their newsletters, as well as downloading and using their mobile applications.

A possible challenge for parents is when they have less budget during the special sales and promos. Sometimes, unexpected costs come our way and such events can impact our finances.

When these scenarios pop up, what parents can consider is to get a personal loan from a licensed money lender. The ones with the most positive moneylender reviews can be filtered as possible choices. These are usually regarded as trusted financial entities to borrow from.

While it is not a typical consideration, borrowing money can be an alternative way to when you have a tight budget. Before borrowing money, parents should read up about this approach and always consider their ability to repay the loan and map out how they intend to do so.

Follow stores on social media

Nowadays, many companies and online stores link their websites to social media sites. They use social media to reach out to their customers quickly. You may also take advantage of those social media sites to help you save money.

First, you need to follow the social media accounts of certain school supplies shops. Then, stay updated on their posts because most of them usually offer links to their promo coupons.

One of the best ways to prepare for anticipated higher expenses such as those associated with the start of a new school year is to anticipate and prepare. Preparation is the key to save money during the restart of the school year or term. The costs of supplies tend to add up very quickly, especially if the family has many children.

To prevent an overstrain of your budget, you need to learn how and when to take advantage of lists, upcycling/recycling and how to get technology to notify you when there are discounts and promotions.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash