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Budgeting For School

Updated on September 2, 2012

School Supplies

Back to school, boredom is over, no more sleeping in, sleepovers, smores at midnight watching the latest movie out on DVD, (although smores are good at anytime!) and back to the rigor of the classroom. Whether your child is educated in a private, public, or home school setting, the cost of school supplies is not cheap.

School supplies can start going on sale at the beginning of July (not that we are thinking of school at that time) but if cash allows, stock up on those inexpensive items – some office supply stores offer notebooks for 10cents instead of the usual $2.00, for example.

Some states have tax-free week where people can buy school supplies without paying the tax. Some states have a tax free weekend that works as well. This helps immensely with the cost of supplies and school clothing. One stipulation is that individual purchases over $75 do not qualify for the tax exemption.

Be prepared, the stores will be jam-packed and the sales could be tempting so have a plan before you go shopping. If time allows, search the store ads to know where the best bargains are. This is not so easy to do when purchasing clothing but at least you will know the style, the design, and the cost of an article.

Go with a list in hand! This is imperative if you want to save money. The temptation is to purchase an item because “it’s on sale” to save money, try to resist that temptation as the idea is to save money. Stick to your list as much as possible.

Sometimes it is better to make the purchase of items after open house to get a more specific list from your child/s teacher.

Discount stores, thrift shops, and yard-sales are good places to buy clothing for your child. They can be washed and ironed and look like new. Clearance racks in stores are WONDERFUL!! Also out of season items can be dirt cheap. Remember that money is tight for a lot of people so there is no shame in shopping at a thrift shop or yard sale for these items. I remember finding brand new clothes on many a thrifty shopping trip.

Before buying that adorable backpack check with the school to see if they’re allowed. Many schools don’t allow them on campus anymore. Instead the students can use binders for their papers and pencils.

Teaching our kids to budget may be something good to come out of these economic times. When shopping for clothes, give each child a specific dollar amount they can spend on clothes. I remember going to a thrift shop, as a single mom, with my two kids and bought two outfits each for school – it was all I could afford and I did feel terrible. However it didn’t hurt them and now one of is working toward a graduate degree and the other one earns an income in the triple digits.

Recycle items instead of buying new every year. Lunch boxes and backpacks can be cleaned and look new when washed.

Finally, be involved with your child’s education - it is vital to the success of your child – your teacher cannot do it alone.


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    • BJC profile image

      BJC 5 years ago from Florida

      kerlynb, thank you for you kind words. It's pretty frustrating when parents are not involved or when the newspapers are filled with teacher who are bad. They are in the minority but it does make it more difficult for good teachers.

      Appreciate your comment ~

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      "Finally, be involved with your child’s education - it is vital to the success of your child – your teacher cannot do it alone." - Geez, I can't agree more. Learning happens not just inside the classroom but also outside of it so parents really need to be around to guide kids and teach them values and proper behavior. Voting this one up and useful!

    • jfay2011 profile image

      jfay2011 6 years ago

      Very good hub. I can relate to that with four kids in school