Be Money-Smart for Back-to-School
Now that you’re a tween, you can help your parents even more with the back-to-school shopping. That doesn’t mean just putting together a list of everything you want to buy for school. You can help your parents plan, bargain-hunt and shop for the school year.
- Make a List
Yes, you do need to make a list of school necessities, but that may not include those $100 jeans or smartphone you had your eye on. Try and think like your parents and put a list together of what you actually need vs. what you want. Include the school supply list from your school’s website and any backpack or lunch bag-related items you’ll need as well.
- Closet Shop
The best place to start all of your back-to-school shopping is in your closet or those of your older brothers and sisters. Also, take a look at what school supplies are left from last year. You might be able to make a major dent in your shopping list with what you have right at home.
- Bargain Hunt
Your parents’ mailbox and inbox will be crammed full of back-to-school sale flyers this time of year. Keep the ones for stores your family shops at and for items that are on your list. Go through your list and the coupons and deals you’ve discovered and write down next to each item the best place to purchase it and the price or discount available.
- Hit the Stores
While some of your back-to-school needs can be found online, chances are you’ll have to hit the stores to fill the rest of your list. Be sure to bring any of the ads and coupons with sure, including those from competing stores. Many retailers will honor cheaper prices from competitors if you have proof of the price difference.
- Keep the Receipts
Get an envelope and label it "Back to School". Put any receipt you get when shopping into the envelope. You never know if something you buy might not fit or could break. Plus, if you find the same item cheaper somewhere else later on, you could either return the item or get the cheaper price from the retailer. Be sure to read up on the policies for the stores you used.
Back-to-school shopping can get expensive. You’re now old enough to help mom and dad save money when you shop. Who knows? With all of the money you save and help you give, you might even be able to talk them into those expensive jeans or that smartphone!