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Six Financial Tips for Back to School Season

Back-to-school shopping may be the only thing kids get excited about when the new school year starts. They will be eager to buy new things to get a new start. Parents with children who are just entering the school system may be in search of ways to minimize the expenditures while keeping things stress-free and fun.

1. Everything Old is New Again

You may have many of the required school supplies just lying around your house taking up space. This is especially true for families with more than one child in school. Check in your kids’ rooms and closets, in the computer desk and on bookshelves for supplies like pencils, paper, erasers and binders.

2. Tax Free Shopping

Many states sponsor a sales tax-free holiday for back-to-school shopping. Frequently retailers time their back-to-school sale dates to correspond with the tax-free weekend. It’s a day to buy uniforms and more expensive items like tablet computers, laptops, and cell phones. Just be certain that the prices offered on tax-free day haven’t been artificially inflated. You want to be certain you’re actually getting a significant discount that you can’t get during any other period where discounts are steeper.

3. Go Online

If you have time, you should look around online for the best available price before settling on going to one store. Some schools distribute a list of all the supplies they recommend for each grade. Get out the supply list and go through each item and search for the best price, giving yourself a plan of attack on school shopping day.

Online retailers may offer more affordable prices that you can’t find locally, and these discounts will be offered year ‘round. This will save you time and money and you won’t be caught up in long lines at shopping malls and department stores.

4. Supply Stores

Your kids may want to drag you to a big box retailer. However, you should consider going to office or art supply stores in your area. You may find the best deals on common supplies in bulk, such as printer paper and markers. These stores may also offer in-store brands that are cheaper than the department stores offer. Office supply stores regularly offer deals on computer equipment and accessories and discounts that may save you money.

The supply stores may have reward programs. You can earn points towards discounts on future purchases. These discounts may come in handy later on in the school year.

5. Couponing

Your recycling bin may be the first stop for the store circulars that fill up your mailbox on a weekly basis. You may want to collect those circulars a few weeks before school begins as they often contain coupons that will be helpful during back-to-school shopping. You can also search online for coupons, and may consider looking into installing a cell phone app that allows you to download coupons from a variety of stores.

6. Taking a Personal Loan

It may sound crazy to take out a personal loan for back-to-school shopping, a low-interest loan from a local bank or credit union may solve a cash flow problem. You may have several children, all of whom need a tablet, clothing and other items, and the expenses could add up. You can discuss the wisdom of loans when you get educated on the subject matter by talking with a financial advisor.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.