Parents' Back-to-School Budgeting Guide

Back To School Shopping

It’s never too early to start planning your school budget!

As the summer break rolls on, many families across the region are thinking about back-to-school shopping. Whether your child is starting kindergarten or heading off to learn a skilled trade, managing expenses can be a daunting task. But don’t worry—we have some practical tips and strategies to help you create a budget and ensure a smooth transition to the classroom.

1. Create a Back-to-School Budget

Before you start earmarking funds, take a good look at your finances. Evaluate your income, expenses and debt to start your budgeting with a picture of how much funding you can put toward school needs.

Make a list of necessary school supplies. Many schools provide a list of student needs. Try to think big picture and include items that may not be on the list, like backpacks, lunchboxes and extra shoes.

Set your budget. Determine how much you have available to spend on supplies, and shop according to your budget. You can additionally save money by taking advantage of back-to-school sales tax holidays. To find out if there is a sales tax holiday in your area, you can use this handy tool from the Federation of Tax Administrators.

2. Clothing and Uniforms

Assess your young student’s wardrobe. What clothing items do they need for the upcoming school year? What items do you already have that can still be used or handed down?

If your child’s school requires uniforms, be sure to allocate enough funds to cover the cost. Consider sizing up half to one size for growing kids who may be able to get more use out of uniforms that they can grow into.

Shop smart. If you need to save money, look for sales, thrift stores and special online deals. Consider swapping clothes with other families when you have clothes your kids have grown out of.

3. Tech and Gadgets

If your child needs a device for schoolwork, compare prices and choose wisely. To save on the cost of tablets or laptops, shop for used items with a warranty.

If your young one uses subscription-based software or apps for tutoring or online learning, remember to include the subscription cost in your budget.

Save emergency money for repairs or tech support should any gadgets need tuning up during the school year.

4. Extracurriculars

Students don’t spend ALL their time in the classroom. Make sure to discuss extracurricular activities with your child. Make room for participation fees, equipment, team uniforms, and club or team trips within your budget.

Be sure to plan for fundraisers, dances, school trips and special events that will inevitably come up during the school year. Set important dates on your digital calendar and stay in the loop with your student’s school to help keep events from sneaking up on you.

5. Involve Your Student

When budgeting for school, give your child a seat at the table and include them in the process.

Teach them about money management, saving, planning ahead and making informed choices. Budgeting for school allows you to teach them about finances and not take education for granted.

Remember, a well-planned budget can help you reduce stress and provide room to focus on what matters most: your young one’s education. Happy back-to-school season!

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This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

By: Cadence Bank on Jul 2, 2024

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