Saving money is part of school preparation
Aug. 20, 2012
by Jenni Sebora

August is upon us, and so is the start of another school year. Many children are ready to get back into a daily routine; to see old friends, and, maybe, to make some new friends.

In fact, the US Census Bureau tells us that about 70 percent of children, aged 6 to 17, were highly-engaged in school in 2009. Children reported that they were interested in school, liked school, and worked hard.

I have heard many of my kids’ friends exclaim they are ready to go back, which must mean they enjoy being there. My kids like school, as well. Of course, it is the homework that they are looking forward to the least.

Getting prepared for school is usually part of the back-to-school fun. School shopping for supplies, shoes, and backpacks is part of the whole experience. All three of my children – who include one at each level, elementary, middle school, and high school – enjoy picking out their tablets, folders, pencils, and other supplies.

My daughter, the middle schooler, of course, just had to find some One Direction- themed notebooks and folders. She was excited about this find. She even found a One Direction T-shirt. That was the golden moment.

Justin Bieber, or any animal is the choice of my third-grade daughter. We purchased the 10-cent notebooks and folders, but then saved room for some themed items, as well. It is funny how something small can really ignite excitement for the school year to begin.

My son, the high-schooler – who now has his driver’s permit – enjoys using certain mechanical pencils, and likes to use the 5-star notebooks. That’s it for him. He also purchases one pair of good tennis shoes for school, and wears them the entire year – one pair of shoes, excluding sports shoes, and that’s it.

Now for my daughters, on the other hand, well, it is a pair of tennis shoes and maybe some moccasins or other trendy shoes.

More than $7 billion was spent at family clothing stores in August 2011.

Purchasing all of the back-to-school supplies and apparel can certainly make a dent in one’s pocketbook, especially if families have more than one child in school.

I heard on the news of one district in the metro area that is hosting a “back-to-school night.” Supplies, backpacks, and clothes were being given away on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a great idea.

Also, more second-hand stores are opening, with very clean, trendy clothes. Places such as The Hanger and Plato’s Closet, provide less expensive, quality, trendy shopping options for families. These stores also sell jewelry, shoes, jackets, and other accessories. I love deals, and these stores have them.

There are ways to save money when making back-to-school purchases.

I also remind my children, they don’t have to get all of their clothing now. There are sales as school starts, as well.

One last suggestion; now is the time to purchase extra notebooks, folders, crayons, markers, glue, and other supplies when they are on sale. I keep a box of those extra supplies in my closet for the rest of the school year, when supplies are running low at school.

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