Back to School Budget

Published August 23, 2017

The Summer adventures are drawing to a close, what is left, the inevitable back to school lists.
 
Not only do you have to recover from Summer, but you also have to prepare for the coming months of pencils and paper needs.
 
How can you do this thoughtfully to take advantage of the discounted prices while not blowing your budget?
 
Things to think about before shopping:
•    Separate the must-have items from the wants
•    Choose 1-2 items to donate to the classroom (tissues are always a great idea)
•    Think ahead, buy extra items that run out fast (glue sticks, notepads, pencils)
•    For older kids, buy what they use not exactly what’s on the list from the school
•    Invest in a new lunch box to encourage healthy lunch habits
•    Inspect backpacks; these don’t need to be replaced each year
 
The school supplies list can be daunting, try and wait for the sales at the local stores. Sunday newspapers highlight the best sales. Buy before the discounted supplies run out!
 
While school supplies seem like the focus, keep in mind extra circular activities: band, choir, sports, etc. These all have uniforms and costs to them.
 
Budget for uniform items ahead of time. If they are on sale, buy two of each piece and save the second for half way through the year to refresh their uniform.
 
If new sports equipment or musical instruments are needed, check local for sale sites and garage sales for great conditioned pieces.
 
To add to the very long list of supplies they need, you add in clothes.
 
You don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Look through past years clothes and keep what still fits. Pass on items that no longer fit to younger siblings or friends.
 
Add in the basic items at this time: jeans, tennis shoes, t-shirts, socks, a sweatshirt, etc. Throughout the year, you can gradually expand on this basic start with more fun items.
 
It’s a great time to also budget in something from the school spirit wear!
 
Salem-Keizer Public Schools posted a great resource for specific when preparing for this school year. Check it out HERE.