Published on August 31, 2018
Back to School - The Good, The Bad, The Money
The first day of school is an exciting occasion, and not just for the kids. Facebook moms flock to post the first day photos, excited dads follow the bus to see their kids in safely, and parents of older kids bite their nails as their twelfth-grader drives to school for the first time.
The return to school also marks the return to routine and a significant reduction in childcare costs for many working families. Care.com reports the average weekly rate for summer day camps is $314 – putting parents on the hook for what feels like an extra mortgage payment while school is not in session. But, before parents can celebrate the savings, we have to get through back-to-school shopping.
You’ve seen the lists. The backpacks, pencils, crayons and Kleenex. The tennis shoes, haircut, new jeans and jackets. They all add up quicker than that graphing calculator you also have to buy. According to the National Retail Federation, parents will spend $26.5 billion on K-12 back-to-school necessities this year. That's an average $669.28 per child, up 5 percent from last year's $634.78.
While our hearts are swelling on the first day of school, our wallets are thinning and hoping for a refill before the holiday season is upon us. So, how do we avoid this clash with the richness in our hearts and the lack of cash in hand?
First, plan ahead. When you make it a habit to have 1 month of salary in your savings at all times, you’re better prepared for things like back-to-school shopping. Need more motivation to save? Set up a special Daily Savings account, you can even nickname it “Johnny’s school fund.”
Second, look for savings. Use discount apps, like e-Club online, cash in your credit card rewards, and shop around online and in-store for the best deals. Still need a hand? Talk to a Personal Advisor about the benefits of low-rate personal loan to help you start the school year on the right financial footing.
Lastly, space out the supplies. Those crayons won’t stay shiny and new any longer than those tennis shoes. Buy what’s needed for day 1, stock up on deals when you can, but don’t be afraid to hold off on some new clothes until the turn of season clearance racks are full.
We wish all parents and kids a great 2018-2019 school year. Don’t forget, we’re here to help.