Many of us are excited to see our kids go back to school, however the expenses associated with them starting school can add up.  Your back-to-school budget always includes new outfits, backpacks, pens, pencils, and notebooks for you kids.  But are you financially ready for other costs that can sneak up on you.

As parents we only budget for school supplies and maybe new outfits for our children.  Then the evening of their first day, your child comes up to you saying they want to play sports or join a club.  These activities can get expensive so think about getting your children involved in budgeting for their school year.  If you give your children an allowance have them allocate a part of it to go towards these expenses.  By working with them in developing a back-to-school budget and listing their priorities you are helping them along the way in making smart financial decisions for the future.

Back-to-School Budget Strategies

Elementary School

  • Carpool with other families in the neighborhood even if your home is close to the school.  You can also save money by having your child walk or ride to school, again if you live close.
  • Teacher gifts for teacher appreciation week or holidays although optional can add cost to your budget.  You can add a personal touch by making something handmade from your child.
  • Celebration treats given to students in the class during Valentine’s Day or birthdays.  Have the teacher given you a list to know how many kids to plan for.
  • After school activities from sports to clubs can get expensive when your child wants to be involved.  When school starts get a list of all activities and only commit to what your children are truly excited for to save on expenses.

Middle and High School

  • Driver’s License for your older driving child does not cut costs.  So much comes from your child wanting one such as driving lessons, study materials and car insurance.  Have your student driver find another friend that drives and switch off driving to cut down on fuel costs.
  • School dances are memories your children will always look back on.  Tickets, transportation and dinner can add up remember to budget beforehand.  Think about buying tickets in advance if a discount is offered or carpool instead of renting a limo.
  • Fine Arts such as choir practices, buying band equipment or tickets for a performance can get expensive.  Instead of buying equipment decide to rent it until your child can fully commit to band in the long term.
  • Sports can help your child to make friends, build character, and add to their resume.  However, playing sports is not free or cheap when you add up registration fees, equipment requirements and travelling.  If your child wants to join a league steer him towards playing for their school it can be a less expensive way for them to play.

Contact any of our offices to schedule an appointment to help you reach your financial goals whether sending your child to college or early retirement.