Cut back on back-to-school expenses

5 simple tips for trimming your back-to-school budget

Sending your kids back to school can be costly. Between completing the list of school supplies your child’s teacher has created and finding new clothes to replace what your child has outgrown, the expenses add up quickly. There are ways to lessen the burden. As you prepare for another year of back-to-school shopping, here are a few tips to try.


Back-to-school shopping tips

  • Start early. Just like with holidays, it seems stores are promoting back-to-school shopping earlier every year. Make a list of the basic supplies your child needs every year, and buy those items as you start to see back-to-school sales.
  • Stick to the list. Once you receive the school supply list your child’s teacher provides, make sure you buy only the items on that list. Teachers submit lists of items that will be necessary for your child’s upcoming year. Buying items not on that list could prove to be a waste of money if they end up sitting in your child’s desk or locker all year long.
  • Involve your kids. Shopping for new back-to-school clothes can be a great way to give your children a real-life lesson in budgeting. Give your children a set amount and see if they can pick out items that fit within that amount.
  • Shop during Iowa’s sales-tax holiday. Your children likely need new clothes for the school year. When shopping for them, make sure you take advantage of Iowa’s annual sales-tax holiday to eliminate the taxes on their new wardrobes. This year, the sales tax-free weekend is Friday, August 5, and Saturday, August 6.
  • Save now for next year. The sooner you start saving, the easier it will be to cover next year’s expenses. For example, if you have two children, and you routinely spend around $500 a year on school supplies, by putting $10 per week into a savings account at [BANK NAME], you will have the funds you need to cover back to school expenses when it’s time to go shopping.