Maybe when we were children, going back to school wasn’t our favorite time of year. We tried to delay it as much as possible with excuses and nonexistent stomach pains, even though that excuse didn’t work. Then we grew up and when we thought we’d gotten out of back to school we became parents. And it came back for us again!
Dealing with the painful family account of going back to school is a real headache. This is not an easy time for either the youngest or the oldest.
What can parents do? We have conducted a survey of our dear Moneytrans parents and revealed the 10 key tips for surviving “back to school” and saving time, money and effort.
1. Make an inventory to stay within budget
September is a crazy time to spend, so the best way to be prepared to fight outlay is to take inventory: “What do my kids need this year and how much do I have to spend?” From then on, there are many ways to save money and stay within budget.
2. Don’t leave everything for the last minute
Your planning will be much more effective if you don’t leave it for the last moment. So you can compare prices and offers of school materials, and don’t forget the discounts! The children are constantly growing and the clothes or uniforms are too small from one year to the next, so you should take advantage of the sales season before school starts.
3. Recycle school material
A new year of school doesn’t mean that you always have to carry a new backpack, new pencil cases or new clothes. The best thing to do is to see what we have at home in good condition and what we can use it for next year to give our finances a break… How many pencils are left in the drawers almost unused? Many of them! The same ones you can use! You will be amazed at how many pencils, rubber, notebooks or folders can be reused.
4. Buy basics and decorate them
In many cases the most exclusive products are the most expensive. Choosing the most basic ones – which are cheaper – is a good way to save money. The basic school materials are also the perfect excuse to sit down with your children and decorate them: print the notebooks, add some stickers to the backpack or even dye last year’s pencil case in a different colour. So that by the end of the afternoon you will have encouraged their creativity and had a good time with the family!
5. Buy or rent second-hand books
Books are the biggest expense of getting back to school. That’s why many parents decide to do second-hand shopping, which is a very good option considering that many websites have a 50% discount! You can also rent them for a while at a lower cost. Some schools have book banks available for students, as well as libraries!
6. Sell your own books
An extra income to meet expenses is not bad. Selling or renting books that we have from other years will make it easier for you to go back to school, but also for others.
7. Alternatives to school transportation
There is a daily cost of travel for all families. So it’s best to agree with other parents to take turns picking up children from school. Who doesn’t have friends or neighbors willing to share expenses and save time?
8. Find a fair price for money transfers
There are many parents whose children are studying in other countries. Going back to school or college means more costs as you are far away and have to send them money. In these cases, it is important to be aware of that money transfer companies tend to be faster than banks. For that reason, it’s very important to make the right choice!
9. Do your shopping online
On the Internet you can find all the products you need for the school year and compare prices more easily.
We also advise you to use the new Internet trend, very popular in other countries, of exchanging books through online platforms.
10. Buy alone
To avoid temptations, you should try to shop without the children, who easily throw a tantrum to have the pencil case with their favourite character or the latest fashionable sweatshirts.
Saving at the beginning of the school year is possible! Cheer up, parents!
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