Friday, August 26, 2022

At YNCU, we know back-to-school can cause a lot of stress during this time of inflation. Rising costs have caused people to have to limit their spending and focus on the essentials. With the upcoming school year fast approaching, parents are concerned about how they are going to pay for these expenses.

A recent Deloitte study says that parents are planning to spend roughly $661 to prepare their families for back-to-school. More than 35% of respondents said they won’t be able to afford back-to-school spending this year. The study also stated that 33% of parents have said their financial situation has worsened over the last year, increasing 11% from 2021.

Schools have been unable to support parents through this difficult time because they themselves are pressed for funding. Some people have needed to work overtime in order to cover the cost of going back to school. Many parents and caregivers are unsure of how they will pay for all the supplies that are needed.

At YNCU we want to help take some of this stress off you by providing tips for the back-to-school shopping season:

Make a plan: Only buy things you need

Oftentimes it is easy to make a new list of school supplies every year and buy everything on that list. Make sure you are taking a look and what you already have from the previous school year. There is no need to buy a brand-new set of pens or rulers if you already have them. Ensuring you are not buying multiples of something that can be reused can help lower the cost of back to school. Teachers will also often provide a school supply list for their classroom, if something isn’t on the list, you don’t need to purchase it.

Set a Budget and Stick with It

Plan a reasonable budget for back to school. Keep your regular expenses in mind when you are creating a budget. Having a budget will ensure you are still meeting your financial goals. Just because your child’s backpack needs to be replaced does not mean you need to spend your entire back-to-school budget on a brand name one. Look for deals or discounts, and switching from your usual brand can be a good way to reduce cost.

It is also important to remember you are not forced to purchase materials for the whole year. It is okay to cut back and buy enough for the first half of the year and allow yourself time to save for the second half. Giving yourself this time will also allow you to stick to your budget and understand what your child is using the most or what they are not using at all. This way you can target your spending during the second half of the school year and reduce cost.

Shop Without Your Kids

We know your kids want to be a part of back-to-school shopping but oftentimes that makes the trip even more expensive. Your kids will beg for things that are not on the list or ask for brand name items. If you shop alone, you are able to ensure that you are only getting the essentials. If your kid really wants brand name items, pick up a couple of items they can wear often like a backpack or shoes. This way your child is able to get what they want but do not have to do a part of the process.

Refurbished Tech Gets the Job Done

Starting early can also help you find the best prices and deals for tech items. Tech is a much-needed item nowadays and people are always on the hunt for the best price. Purchasing refurbished computers or laptops is an option in order to stay within your budget. Laptops and computers can cost upward of $1000 brand new. Refurbished or second-hand technology can make a big difference in the cost of back to school and is also more environmentally friendly. Not everything has to be brand new for the new school year.

Buy in Bulk and Split with Friends

As the cost of almost everything is rising, school supplies are no different. Buying in bulk and splitting the cost with friends can make a huge difference in how much you spend. This can also make shopping more fun as you are able to go with your friends and decide what you both have on your list. Things like pens, pencils, rulers, and notebooks are things that almost all students need. So, if your child has friends from school, get their parents together to save cost on supplies.

Shop With a Cash Back Credit Card

When you are back to school shopping, use a cash back credit card. This way you are able to make money when you make purchases. YNCU has a Collabria no fee MasterCard that can help you with your back-to-school shopping!

For all your general financial inquiries and how you can plan out your financial goals, come talk with someone at your YNCU branch!