You may think that back-to-school shopping and reducing debt at the same isn’t possible, but what if I told you there are ways to make it work?
Even though Canadian families spend a lot of money when kids go back to school — an average of almost $900 per household — it is possible to save and put more towards reducing your debt load simply by spending less and shopping more carefully for what you need.
So, how can you go about spending less on supplies for your kids as they return to school in the fall?
It starts with the three ‘R’s…reduce, reuse and recycle.
Reuse and recycle what you already have
Backpacks, lunch bags and binders are all costly items, but if they are in good shape why can’t they be reused? Also, save pens, pencils, highlighters and more from the previous year, as they are probably still good for a little while longer.
Evaluate what school supplies are still in good condition from the previous school year and build your shopping list based on what needs to be replaced now for the beginning of the school year.
Reduce what you buy
The advantage of starting back-to-school shopping in July is that you can take your time to shop and compare prices. In addition, instead of rushing out to buy everything at once before school begins, think about spreading the costs over a few months. If your family budget is stretched thin, it will help reduce the need to rely on credit cards. This strategy can also alleviate some of the pressure on the family budget and on your debt load.
You might also find that your child may not need certain things once school starts. Set them up with the basics and get other items as they are needed.
Here’s how to take what you saved on supplies and reduce debt
If you are successful in your effort to cut down on your back-to-school budget, it may leave you with some additional savings. You can then use that money to make an extra payment towards your debt load.
With a little bit of planning and good follow through, you can make it through back-to-school season without blowing your budget while reducing your debt load in the process.
For more ways to manage back-to-school debt and stay on top of your finances, keep an eye out for my next column. #DebtSolutions.
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