As school season ramps up, shopping commercials will become more prevalent as parents and their children start planning for the next school year. Below are strategies to keep in mind as you navigate back-to-school expenses.
Set a Budget
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), $3.4 billion was projected to be spent on backpacks alone in 2017. Take the time to calculate the amount of funds you can set aside for your shopping trip. If you plan ahead, you should be more relaxed when shopping.
Create a Priority List
Once your budget is set, sit down with your student(s) and determine what items will be listed as “needs” and what items will be listed as “wants.” Having this list while shopping should give you a roadmap for what stores to visit and an estimate of how your budget will match up. At this point, you should be able to determine if your budget meets or exceeds your expenses.
Sales Tax Holiday
Research if your state offers a Sales Tax Holiday. On that date, you may be able to shop within categories for items that will be free of state and local taxes.
For college-aged students, textbooks may be one of the largest expenses behind tuition and room/board. Companies such as Chegg or Barnes and Noble offer rentals and/or used textbooks for a fraction of the price of purchasing new textbooks. If shopping for used textbooks, be sure to check the version of publishing before purchase. Otherwise, you may have the burden of needing to track down the correct page number for assignments.
The long lines and bin diving will be enough to deal with on your shopping trip. Plan ahead and do research before heading out.
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