Back-to-school season is in full swing, and the National Retail Federation estimates that shoppers will spend $83.6 billion on supplies for the new school year.
Setting a budget is a good way to keep school spending in check. If you're prepping to scour the sales, these tips can help minimize the damage to your wallet.
Be smart about clothes shopping
Clothing can eat up a big chunk of your budget, whether you're a student shopping for yourself, or a parent shopping for multiple kids. Luckily, there are some ways to save on clothing essentials.
- Get the timing right. Back-to-school clothing sales peak in August, and if you can wait until September for clothes shopping, you may be able to snag deeper discounts on summer or fall gear.
- Shop secondhand. Mixing in gently used items with new ones can take some of the financial sting out of clothes shopping. Check consignment shops and thrift stores, or try eBay for deals on new-to-you clothing.
- Try a clothing swap. If you know other families who are looking for savings on school clothes, consider organizing a clothing swap. Instead of shopping the mall, shop each other's closets instead. Swapping items won't cost you anything and it can help you clean out unused clutter.
Shop around for supplies
Notebooks, pencils, pens and other supplies can add up quickly. With the right plan, you can keep the costs down.
- Start at home. If you normally buy school supplies in bulk, check around the house to see if you have anything left over from previous shopping trips. You might be surprised at how many items you're able to cross off your shopping list before hitting the stores.
- Shop for penny deals. Office supply stores routinely run penny promotions on supply basics like folders, notebooks, glue sticks and pencils. Keep an eye out for these sales and stock up as much as possible. Just remember, stores may impose a limit on how many penny items you can buy per trip.
- Try the dollar store. Your local dollar store can be another great resource for savings. You may be able to find things like scissors, pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, binders, glue and more for only a buck.
Do your homework for electronics
If an expensive graphing calculator, new laptop or a hi-tech printer are on your shopping list, you'll need to do your research to make sure you're getting the best product at the best price for your budget.
- Compare online deals to what's available in-store. When you're buying electronics, it pays to leave no stone unturned. Check out what's on sale locally, then look online to see if you can find the same thing at a lower price.
- Shop tax-free weekends. A number of states offer tax-free weekends for back-to-school shopping, including electronics purchases. If you live in or near a state that offers a sales-tax holiday, that could be a chance to save big bucks on a new computer or calculator.
- Consider leasing versus buying. Leasing a laptop or other electronics equipment is another option if you're not sure how long your student's going to need it, or you think you might want to upgrade sooner rather than later.
When it comes to back-to-school shopping, every penny counts. Using these tips as a guideline can go a long way toward helping you hang on to more of your dollars and cents. Whether you pre-plan for back-to-school shopping or do the last-minute dash, share your budget-saving tips and tricks below!
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Rebecca Lake and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
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