If you have a school-age child, you know that back-to-school supplies are a necessity. Thankfully, though, overspending isn’t. In fact, with a little bit of planning, parents can stretch their dollars without sacrificing quality or quantity.
These five smart steps will help you get more bang from your back-to-school bucks.
- Don’t buy what you already own. A survey this past July by the company Deloitte, revealed that 26% of parents with school-age children are planning to reuse last year’s school items. That’s a really smart way to cut costs in a tough economy. So, before heading to the store, be sure to check your drawers and closets (and even under the back seat of the minivan) for back-to-school items that might be usable again this year—things like backpacks, lunch boxes, book covers, pencils, crayons, and glue sticks. Having just one of each of these items could decrease your spending by roughly $40 per child.
Everyday saving is more habit than science. Living on a budget becomes easier every day that you practice. Unless you are an unusually extravagant spender, there is no magic bullet to save large dollars on a daily basis. However, using simple everyday saving tips will add up to high savings over weeks and, then, months. Here are some simple suggestions to start building your frugal habit.
- Closely track your spending—all of it. The most important habit you can acquire is to keep a small notebook of every penny you spend daily. You may be astonished how your small purchases add up to large dollars over time.
Many people live a tortured existence, fearing four simple words: “Living on a budget.” However, these people can learn to live within budgetary constraints and concentrate on saving money, while enjoying life and all it has to offer. Using a few easy, universal tips are all you need to conquer the fear and cheerily move on. Try these suggestions to make you and your budget smile.
- Start a daily log. Although the magnitude of his genius is astounding, Albert Einstein was an early proponent of the “KIS” (keep it simple) doctrine. To create a budget you can live with blissfully, first start and maintain a simple daily log of your expenditures. All you need is a small notepad, like those used by your favorite TV detectives when interviewing witnesses. You will be amazed, sometimes pleased, sometimes unhappy, often surprised, and always empowered by what you learn. Keeping this log for just a few weeks will teach you how to control your spending.