Good Planning and a Few Smart Tips Can Make Back-to-School Season Less Stressful and More Affordable
Back-to-school season is expensive. This year, the average household is expected to spend $790 on school supplies, according to the National Retail Federation.
Save on Sales Taxes by Knowing When to Shop
This year, the Washington state House of Representatives passed a one-time holiday from sales tax for Washington shoppers. September is an especially difficult month for working families because of back-to-school costs. Under this legislation, there will be no sales tax this year from Sept. 3 to Sept. 5 for certain items priced $1,000 or less, including clothing, school supplies, computers, and energy-efficient appliances.
“Whether your kids need pencils, notebooks or a new computer this fall, this bill will ensure it’s a little easier on your bank account this Labor Day,” said Rep. Rule (D-Blaine), who co-sponsored the legislation. “There’s no single solution to solve the pressure that working families are facing, but this is one good bill to help us all find a little relief.”
Know What to Buy and How Much to Spend
Before heading out to local stores and malls, make a list of what you need and do a quick search to see how much each item costs and where you might find discounts and deals. Leaving the house with a shopping list and a budget in mind will make it much easier to control impulse spending.
Find the Lowest Prices
It’s easier than ever to shop around for the best deals. Similarly, don’t rule out shopping online for fear of shipping charges. More and more retailers are offering free shipping options. And you may enjoy the added benefit of shopping tax-free without being limited to a few-day window.
Be Practical, Not Trendy
From computers to clothing styles, saving money means concentrating on things that were “hot” last year. Such items will have cheaper starting prices and are more likely to be on sale.
Make Sure They Really Need It
These days, we all have access to a huge variety of electronic devices. Your kids may try to convince you that they’ll use the computers, tablets, smart watches and even video games to learn rather than simply for games, entertainment, and social media. Many devices have legitimate academic applications, but most kids really don’t need all of them.
Making a single trip to a physical store will save you time and stress. Shopping online is more accessible and can be used to supplement anything you may forget.
Make a Plan and Shop Accordingly
What school supplies will your child need throughout the whole year? Buying more now will likely get net better prices overall, considering back-to-school sales don’t last all year.