The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that this year’s back-to-school shopping season will be the most expensive ever. According to the NRF’s survey, families with children in grades K-12 plan to spend an average of nearly $700, while those with college students plan to spend nearly $1,000. These amounts are the highest ever recorded by the NRF.
Parents are feeling pressured to overspend and are worried about going shopping this year. However, with some planning, it is possible to manage these additional expenses and reduce stress.
Here are three steps you can take to prepare for the upcoming back-to-school shopping season:
1. Make a plan before you shop: Take the time to evaluate your financial situation. FinanceMaster’s budgeting worksheet can help you get started. Once you have a good understanding of your current financial state, determine how much you are comfortable spending.
2. Assess what you have vs. what you need: Prioritize your needs list. Determine what items you need to buy before school starts and what can be purchased later. Consider what needs to be replaced versus what can be reused. If new clothes are necessary, take advantage of discounts as stores clear their shelves for winter clothing.
3. Avoid impulse purchases: Bring your needs list with you and stick to it. If your children will be shopping with you, share the list with them ahead of time or involve them in creating it. If they want something that is not in the budget, offer them the option to contribute their own money. Generation Z is becoming increasingly involved in spending their own money on back-to-school supplies. Teaching your children about finances is crucial for developing a healthy attitude toward money and setting them up for long-term success.
If you need additional support before heading to the stores this fall, FinanceMaster’s professional and caring Financial Wellness Experts can help you assess your financial situation and guide you in creating a personalized plan to achieve your goals. They work with thousands of people each week to pay off debt, improve credit, and lead financially healthy lives. Speak with a Financial Expert today.