Enjoy Back-To-School Savings With These 6 Tips
Summer’s almost over, meaning that the beginning of school year 2015 – 2016 is just a few weeks away. Are you ready for the back-to-school expenses?
Here at iMoney, we’ve compiled a few tricks for you to enjoy the most back-to-school savings with only a little bit of effort. Read on to find out how to save thousands for the coming school year:
1. Make a list and plan your expenses.
Before hitting the stores to shop for back to school items, make a list and stick to it. Go through the things you already have and assess which ones can be used for another school year, and which ones need replacing.
Laura Rowley, writer of the Money and Happiness column for Yahoo! Finance, recommends that you go through your clothing inventory and create a shopping list of what you need to buy from there. “For clothing, focus on five to seven well-made, easy-care basic items and change the look by mixing in a few less expensive pieces,” she says.
Pieces you can consider include tank tops, colorful T-shirts, and items like belts and bracelets. “Kids usually don’t outgrow the accessories,” she says, so accessories you buy this summer could last your kids for a longer time than other clothing items.
Also take into consideration the needs they will have for the grade level they’re attending, and budget accordingly. Armed with a list of what you truly need, you can head to the shops knowing that you won’t overspend.
2. Focus your saving on the biggest items.
Because of all the back-to-school sales, it’s not hard to find ways to save — but sometimes, you can get caught up in trying to save a few pesos on things like crayons, pencils, paper, and other little things. You might end up spending way too much time and only saving very little.
To make the best use of your time and effort, concentrate your back-to-school savings on the most expensive items you have to buy for your kids, like computers, backpacks, shoes, and other big-ticket items. You’ll spend the same amount of time saving thousands on a new laptop as you will saving 10 pesos on a pack of pencils.
Lots of these big-ticket items go on sale in the weeks before school starts. So if you don’t want to expend a lot of effort just to save a little bit of money, focus on saving money on the most expensive items on your shopping list.
3. Use those credit card deals.
If you’ve got a credit card, you’ll be able to enjoy promos that will let you save on back to school expenses. BDO has a Buy Now, Pay Later program running until July 16, 2015 that will let you enjoy a 1-month billing holiday at Absolutely 0% installment. And additionally, you can also take advantage of exclusive promos from Power Mac Center, Sony, and Electro World (among others) for necessary school accessories. HSBC has 0% installment deals that allow you up to 6 months to pay for your back-to-school purchases from The SM Store.
Check your credit card provider’s website for the latest back-to-school deals. If you don’t have one yet, we can help you apply for a credit card that’s perfect for your lifestyle. All it takes is just a few clicks.
4. Swap with other parents.
Other parents are looking to save this school year too, and they may have some of the things you need, and vice versa. Make things easier on yourselves and organize a swap with your fellow parents. Lay down a few ground rules so that the swap doesn’t descend into chaos, and set a few limits on how many items each person can take so nobody walks away with an armful of free stuff while only contributing two things to the swap.
Bring items like clothes that no longer fit your kids, last year’s textbooks they no longer need but another child might, and whatever else is just lying around the house that none of your kids are using any more that can be reused by someone else. At the end of the day, you may find that your shopping load is reduced because you’ve gotten a lot of the necessary items from the swap.
5. Involve your kids.
Back-to-school shopping is a great way to teach your kids about the importance of differentiating their wants from their needs. If they want a ridiculously expensive set of crayons, for example, show them that a standard box would give them the same thing, but for less money — and they can then use the remaining amount to buy other necessary school items.
Explain the concept of a budget to them so they understand why it’s important to think about how much things cost, and how it affects the family financially, before they throw them in the shopping cart. Not only will you save money, but your kids will learn a thing or two about personal finance, and they can carry on these good habits as they grow older. To help you out, you can also read our article on teaching your kids good money habits.
6. Take advantage of student discounts.
Student discounts aren’t just for the jeepney — you’d be surprised how much you can save just by using a student discount at certain establishments. For example, on the official Apple Store website, you can save up to P10,200 on a new Mac, and up to P1,500 on a new iPad if you buy your new unit through their Education portal: http://store.apple.com/ph-k12.
When you’ve chosen which shops to hit to get the back-to-school stuff you need, ask the staff if there are any student discounts available. Just asking could save you a lot of money on your expenses.
The start of the school year doesn’t have to mean the start of huge spending. With these smart moves for back-to-school saving, you can make June 1’s expenses easier on your wallet, so you can concentrate on what’s important: helping your children do the best they can at school.