Stick to a budget. Buy in bulk. Tips for keeping back-to-school spending in check

·2 min read
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

At least 1 in 3 parents say they will spend more on back-to-school shopping this year compared to last year, according to WalletHub in its 2022 Back-to-School Report.

The personal-finance website recommends shopping when retailers are offering discounts and paying with the right credit card to save. It also offers these money-saving tips:

Stick to a Budget

Without a shopping list or a budget, it’s hard to avoid overspending. Before heading to the store, make a list of what you need and do a quick search to see how much each item costs. This will help you make an overall back-to-school budget and decide how to allocate the funds. It will also make it easier to avoid impulse spending.

Comparison shop

It’s easier than ever to shop around for the best deals. For big ticket items, it’s worth doing. 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.

Avoid trends

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.

Don’t go overboard on electronics

These days, kids have access to more types of electronics than ever before. They may even try to convince their parents that they’ll use the computers, tablets, smart watches and even video games to learn rather than for games and social media. Some popular electronics do have academic applications, but make sure not to acquiesce to every request.

Make one trip

Buying everything you need for the new school year in one fell swoop will help reduce the stress and time involved in the process. It will also help you take full advantage of one-time discounts that many store cards offer. Keep in mind that we mean you should make only one trip to a physical store. Shopping online is more accessible and can be used to supplement anything you may forget.

Buy in bulk

Looking way ahead can pay extra big dividends. 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.