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5 Steps for Sending Your Military Kid Back to School on a Budget

Back to School Social

Back to School on a Budget

It’s back to school time! And while parents may be breathing a collective sigh of relief, it might be a different story when it comes to their wallets. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, families with school-age children will spend an average of $696.70 this year – up from 2018 – to equip their kids for a new school year. So, how can you send your military child back to school on a budget with everything he or she needs to be successful? Here are five steps:

1. Inventory what you already have.

Did last year’s backpack hold up well? How many glue sticks, pencils and pens are still left in your household stash? Take some time to inventory what school supplies you already have, so you’re not buying what you don’t absolutely need. While this is common sense, it really can save some money at the check-out line.

2. Set a budget, together.

Use back-to-school shopping as a teachable moment for your child. Sit down together and create a reasonable budget taking stock of the supplies you already have and what you absolutely need. Creating a budget will help give you some spending boundaries and prevent impulse buys. Don’t forget to work your back-to-school budget into your household budget. For more information on building a spending plan, visit Create a Budget.

3. Make a list.

That’s right. As simple as it sounds, making a list will help you and your military child stay focused on buying what is needed, rather than what is wanted. If an item doesn’t make the list, it doesn’t get purchased or if it does, something else does not.

4. Consider buying a few times throughout the year.

At most schools, the supply list you receive is meant to be for the entire year. For many families, that’s a lot of school supplies to buy all at once. Check with the teacher to see if it’s okay to divide the list and make two to three purchases throughout the year per semester, so that you’re not spending so much all at once. It’s a faster shopping experience and easier on the wallet.

5. Look for sales.

Now’s the time to comparison shop with many stores and your local Commissary and Exchange offering back-to-school sales. Don’t forget to search online for great deals, too! Skip the lines and take advantage of free shipping.

Back to school on a budget, done right!

Kick off the school year right with these five tips to shop wisely. Your children and bank account will thank you!

Are you ready to join the mission?

MilSpouse Money Mission™ offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses, including the Money Ready curriculum for various stages of financial life, a blog, a video library, and a social media community. And we’re just getting started!

Join the mission to lead your family to a stronger financial future. Explore the Money Ready curriculum. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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Back to School Social

Back to School on a Budget

It’s back to school time! And while parents may be breathing a collective sigh of relief, it might be a different story when it comes to their wallets. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, families with school-age children will spend an average of $696.70 this year – up from 2018 – to equip their kids for a new school year. So, how can you send your military child back to school on a budget with everything he or she needs to be successful? Here are five steps:

1. Inventory what you already have.

Did last year’s backpack hold up well? How many glue sticks, pencils and pens are still left in your household stash? Take some time to inventory what school supplies you already have, so you’re not buying what you don’t absolutely need. While this is common sense, it really can save some money at the check-out line.

2. Set a budget, together.

Use back-to-school shopping as a teachable moment for your child. Sit down together and create a reasonable budget taking stock of the supplies you already have and what you absolutely need. Creating a budget will help give you some spending boundaries and prevent impulse buys. Don’t forget to work your back-to-school budget into your household budget. For more information on building a spending plan, visit Create a Budget.

3. Make a list.

That’s right. As simple as it sounds, making a list will help you and your military child stay focused on buying what is needed, rather than what is wanted. If an item doesn’t make the list, it doesn’t get purchased or if it does, something else does not.

4. Consider buying a few times throughout the year.

At most schools, the supply list you receive is meant to be for the entire year. For many families, that’s a lot of school supplies to buy all at once. Check with the teacher to see if it’s okay to divide the list and make two to three purchases throughout the year per semester, so that you’re not spending so much all at once. It’s a faster shopping experience and easier on the wallet.

5. Look for sales.

Now’s the time to comparison shop with many stores and your local Commissary and Exchange offering back-to-school sales. Don’t forget to search online for great deals, too! Skip the lines and take advantage of free shipping.

Back to school on a budget, done right!

Kick off the school year right with these five tips to shop wisely. Your children and bank account will thank you!

Are you ready to join the mission?

MilSpouse Money Mission™ offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses, including the Money Ready curriculum for various stages of financial life, a blog, a video library, and a social media community. And we’re just getting started!

Join the mission to lead your family to a stronger financial future. Explore the Money Ready curriculum. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Team Member

We are a team of Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, an Accredited Financial Counselor®, and current and former service members and military spouses who are passionate about financial education. MilSpouse Money Mission™ was created to educate and empower military spouses to elevate their families by making smart money moves.

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