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Budget Planning for a New School Year - Budget Plan for Parents with School Age Children

Updated on October 12, 2011

We have four children, three of whom are school age. The end of summer means the purchasing of school attire and school supplies. Shopping for a new school year can be a stressful time for parents if you have not planned in advance. By planning a school year budget you will be able to purchase the necessary items to have a stress free first day of school.


Detemine what will be needed

You already have a basic idea of what you will need to purchase for the school year. You will need school clothing and shoes, backpacks, notebooks, folders, pencils, etc. You should plan on purchasing the basics, just what it needed. Do Not Go Overboard. If your school district has a uniform dress code in affect all you would need to purchase is a weeks worth of clothing per child. For example; our school district requires the children to wear polo shirts in shades of blue, or white; dress pants in the colors of navy, brown, black, tan, or khaki; and gym attire which consist of a plain T-shirt and plain jogging pants in any solid color. None of the clothing can have labels with the name brand, or logos. The only logo or name allowed on the clothing is the school districts. I purchase each child; 1 light blue, 1 navy blue, and 1 white polo shirt each, 1 pair of navy, and 1 pair of tan dress pants each. The boys also each have 1 pair of shorts each, and my daughter has1 skirt, all of which is school approved. I purchased all three sets of clothing for a total of about $110. I did take advantage of school uniform sales to help save on the total cost. We are now half way through the school year and we have yet to purchase additional items.

We also need to purchase each child new sneakers for school. We try to get each child one pair of good quality sneakers without paying a fortune. Usually you can find sales on sneakers and save yourself up to 50% off the normal price. The sneakers we purchase are worn for school ONLY, when they come in the door, the shoes come off, and if they go out to play they where their old ones. By doing this the sneakers purchased for school will last through the school year, or at least come close.

The other area you need to look at is school supplies. Now for us, our children are in elementary school, so the need for a ton of notebooks is not yet a priority. We need to purchase backpacks, and other basic supplies. The backpacks are only purchased if necessary; meaning is the one from the previous year can not be used any longer. Then we get just the basics, 1 notebook and folder per child, a pack of pencils, glue sticks, and erasers. Sometimes we still have supplies from the previous year, so we only purchase what is needed.

Plan your school budget

You first need to get an idea of how much the new school year will cost you.  Once you get an approximate number be sure to inflate it slightly.  By inflating the cost it will cover you for unexpected expenses if they should arise.  Our last year total cost was just under $200, so for next school year we will save $250 to be sure we can cover the costs.  You can decide how to budget  the money you want to have saved before school starts.  For example; I wish to save for a total of 8 months, from January to August.  That would mean I would have to put about $32 aside each month for the school expenses.  It will make purchasing the items easier because I will not have to come up with the money in full at the last minute.  If we do not spend the total amount of saved money the remaining amount can be used for other expenses, or saved for expenses that may arise during and for the school year.

Calculating your budget

Time Saving
Amount Needed 
Length to Reach Goal 
52 weeks 
one year 
12 months
one year 
6 months 
6 months 
You can detemine how long you wish to save. You can get approximate amounts by taking the total needed divided by the amount of time available. Example: $250/52 weeks = approx. $5 per week

How the money will be allocated

Child's Name 
School Clothing 
School Supplies
Child 1 
Child 2 
Child 3 
The total amount deligated to the children is $236, there is $14 not yet allocated. Depending on how much is actually spent in each area, can offer addition savings, or require more funds. Your best bet is to try and come in under your budgeted amo

Benefits of planning in advance

  • You will be able to take advantage of early school sales
  • You will not go overboard with unneeded items
  • You first day of school will be stress free
  • Once You will not need to stress about having enough money at the last minute
  • You have the school budget set in place and you can easily adjust it year to year
  • You will be setting an example for your children by showing them how to save for future expenses




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    • rayvenperkins profile image

      rayvenperkins 6 years ago from USA

      Nice Post, Great Jobs