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Saving money at back-to-school time

Shopping for school can be expensive for even the most frugal family. As July comes to an end, now is the time to start thinking about your spending plan for August, including those back-to-school purchases. Here are some tips as school creeps closer:

Acquire and thoroughly read the supply list from your child’s teacher. It should adequately cover what each student needs. Explain the necessities to your child and how supplies not on the list will be extra. If they want a more expensive character notebook or backpack, it provides an opportunity for the child to contribute from money they have received as a gift or earned and saved.

Take an inventory of what you already have. Raid junk drawers, craft tubs and closets for supplies. There is a good chance that you have a pack of tissues or a box of unused crayons or pencils laying around. If you do, mark those items off the list.  If not, you know those are must-haves at the store.

Do not stray from the supply list and compare local advertisements. Impulse shopping is tempting – especially with children in tow. Grocery stores may also run great deals on notebooks or paper, so there is no shame in going multiple places to get the best bargain.

Shop the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday. This year’s Sales Tax Holiday is August 3–5, 2018.

Peruse local online sale groups and apps for used goods such as clothing, tennis shoes, or backpacks that are in great or like-new condition.

Although it can be more difficult at times, involving your children in the back-to-school purchasing process helps them understand needs versus wants and the importance of budgeting – lessons they can incorporate in other areas of their lives as they grow and learn.

Ashley Bales

Ashley Bales

Ashley Bales is a Family Financial Education Specialist headquartered in Madison County.  Her office is located at 137 West Main St., Fredericktown, Missouri. Contact Ashley at 573-783-3303 with questions or comments. MU is an equal opportunity/ADA institution. University of Missouri Extension does not discriminate on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability in employment or in any program or activity.

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