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Before the school bell rings, planning ahead can help you save on clothing and supplies to be ready for the first day back. This month's Financial Tips offer strategies to get the most for your money when it's time for back-to-school shopping.
- Make a budget and stick to it. Knowing how much you have to spend can help set priorities and expectations about new school gear.
- Before you go shopping, inventory clothes and supplies you already have and consider purchasing only what you need right now, rather than buying supplies for the entire school year at once. Take advantage of sales tax holidays if your state offers them. Combined with sales, these holidays can especially lower the cost of pricier items such as computers.
- Comparison shop. Check sales, apps, loyalty rewards programs, and coupons for deals and savings.
- Although some items are best bought new, consider used and refurbished alternatives. Textbooks, calculators, and musical instruments can often be rented or bought second hand for a much lower cost.
- Know what tax credits you might be eligible for. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit might cover the cost of afterschool care, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit can help with the cost of a postsecondary education.