Budget tips for back-to-school shopping

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:10 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - As the start of school inches closer and closer, shopping for school supplies and clothes is top of mind for a lot of you.

Financial experts said there are some things to keep in mind before you go on your shopping spree.

An expert at Meritrust Credit Union said the first thing you should do is make a budget, so you don’t spend too much when you’re shopping for your back-to-school items. One way to stick to your budget is to let the kids play a role in choosing what to get.

“You know back to school shopping is a great way to teach kids about money for those older students,” Ashley Newberry with Meritrust said. “Allowing them to do the shopping for themselves or giving them the opportunity to make some of those purchasing decisions is a great way for them to learn about budgeting and money management. They can choose to either buy one expensive outfit or maybe three less expensive items. And then for those younger students, and maybe best just to get a couple of ideas from them but be sure to leave them at home. That way you can shop without distraction or impulse buy.”

The second thing parents should do is know how much you have to spend and what your kids need.

Most school districts will post the items needed for each grade level. Once you find out what you need, find a place to get those items that will save you the most money.

“The next step is to do your homework,” Newberry said. “You want to check those stores for those deals, sign up for email lists so you can get a heads up on these deals, and then take advantage. You want to check websites, use those apps so you can get those digital coupons to save. Next step is to just identify ways you can cut costs on those items that you have to replace often, and then shop for durability for those items that need to last a little while longer. And then if you do have the opportunity stock up on these items that way you have them later in the year.”

Newberry said you can expect to pay an average of about 600 dollars for things like school supplies, clothes and technology. For college students, a bit more.

She recommends budgeting like you do for the holidays to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

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