SUMMER vacation is almost up and another school year is about to begin for our dear students. It marks the start of shopping for new uniforms and supplies, probably the only thing that keeps children excited about welcoming another year at school. For some parents, it also means emptying their pockets for these expenses.
While we want to provide the best for our children, “best” doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. Before you drain your wallet in shopping, consider the following back-to-school shopping tips that can help you save money:
1. Prepare a checklist. Having a written list of what you need for the school year will serve as your “internal control” from overspending. Studies have shown that shopping without a list can more likely lead to impulse buying. Without a list, you’ll have the tendency to be swayed by ‘on sale’ items that you don’t actually need.
2. Home shopping. Search your cabinets and drawers for supplies that can be re-used. Involve your children in stacking the inventory. Telling your kids to reuse old supplies may not immediately bring cheer to their faces, so make the activity fun. Tap your kid’s creative juices and help them create up-cycling projects from your old supplies.
3. Consider doing garage sale. It is more likely that after you do your home shopping you will find stuff that your household might not need. Organize a garage sale and find a new home for your old, but usable, stuff while making additional money. It will also be a great opportunity for your children to get hands-on experience in doing business in the convenience of your own home. Assign individual tasks and let them work; you can let them have the sales proceeds as part of their school allowance. Activities like these help children realize the value of money and are good starting points in building the right money mindset for them.
4. Organize swapping with co-parents. It’s time to tap into your network of parents and organize swaps. Trade books, clothes, supplies, etc. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll enjoy exchanging items with one another while saving a bundle.
5. Shop for quality. Generally, quality items are synonymous to higher prices but there are certain items that you’ll be better off spending a few additional dimes on than settling for cheaper goods. It pays to spend more on things like bags and shoes that can last longer and which your children can use even the following year.
6. Use cash. Be careful with credit card promotions urging you to ‘shop now and pay later.’ This might turn to ‘shop now and go broke later’ if you’re not prudent with your credit card purchases. It’s safer to stick to cash when shopping as this will limit you from overspending and will help you work within your budget.
Cheers and good luck!
Jesi Bondoc is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. He is the Director of My Wealth MD and Partners, Inc. specializing in investment advisory and oversight. You can send your money questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and they will be answered in his next article. To learn more about financial planning, attend the 54th RFP program this May 28 to July 16, 2016. Inquire by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text <name><e-mail><RFP> at 0917-9689774.