Back To School Budget Tips
Tip #1 Prioritize needs vs. wants
Make sure your back-to-school lists (and your budget) tackle needs first.
- Shoes that fit on the first day of school are a must, but a new iPad may not be.
- Take an inventory of what is available before you go shopping. You may already have some of the necessary items.
- Try on clothes, uniforms, backpacks, shoes, etc - don't just assume things from last year will fit or still work for this year.
Tip #2 Start early and spread out the shopping.
One exhaustive back-to-school shopping spree is a surefire budget killer.
- Plan to shop multiple times to take advantage of sales and discounts.
- If you start early, you can buy a few things now, some next week, and some next month to spread out the financial impact.
- Check online or in your mailbox for discount codes, coupons and BOGO offers and pay attention to the use-by dates.
Tip #3 Understand cheap vs. value
Consider investing in pieces that require lots of wear-and-tear, like backpacks, jeans, jackets, and shoes.
- Look for deals on high-use items so they will last longer.
- Cheap things cost less up front, but they often reflect it in the quality.
- Nobody wants to save money initially on a cheap backpack only to have to replace it when it falls apart after a couple months of use.
Tip #4 There are better ways to fund your back-to-school shopping than a high-rate credit card.
Cornerstone offers small personal loans for back-to-school spending with a much lower interest rate than a credit card.
- A personal loan may offer better interest rates and a more affordable solution to funding your back-to-school shopping.
- CCF's Back-to-School loan offers amounts up to $5,000 with low, competitive rates, and flexible payback terms.
- Decisions are made quickly and locally, so you can access your funds very soon after approval. Apply online anytime.