With all of the adventure and fun of the approaching school year (ok, that might be a stretch, especially for the kids, but oh well) some back to school shoppers can make big mistakes along the way. These mistakes are not the “I bought the wrong color notebook” type of mistakes either.
No, these mistakes that many back to school shoppers make are not the innocent kind of mistake that can be fixed by simply throwing more money in. These mistakes are themselves mistakes concerning money and how back to school shopper can often fall into the same financial mistakes year after year while shopping for their kid’s new school year.
One of the most common and most frequently made mistakes made by back to school shoppers is failing to plan ahead. Planning ahead for back to school shopping, just as with a number of other things in life, can help a family to save potentially loads of money on their back to school shopping list.
One of the advantages of planning ahead for back to school shopping is the fact that a person or family can save money by planning out a budget before going to the store. Having a budget for the school shopping trip is an essential aspect to saving money, and the lack of a budget for back to school shopping is one of the most frequently made mistakes by parents all over the country.
Create a Budget
Creating a budget for the trip to the stores for the back to school shopping means that a parent compiles a list of necessary items that the children will need for their upcoming school year (usually one is sent out by the school itself about a month or so before the new school year begins) and budget each items for the maximum amount that the parent is willing to spend on that item. For example, if a child needs a pen and a notebook of paper, a parent can say that they will only spend three dollars on pens for the year and ten on notebooks.
In this way, a parent and a child will know what they expect to spend on their school shopping trip. Another plan may be to set an overall budget and divide the cost of the total into the individual items, making cuts here and there to ensure that the set amount does not get surpassed.
Budgeting for back to school shopping is just one way that a parent can avoid the mistake of failing to plan. Other plans beyond budgeting can and should take place so that the family can be both effective and money efficient while shopping for school supplies and clothing.
Start Buying Early
One such additional planning that can take place is to plan out the items a family needs to buy at the beginning of the summer so that they can take advantage of store sales on individual items throughout the course of the entire summer. By planning in this way, a family can buy all of the items that the children will need for the new school year at discounted prizes from several stores, assuring that the best prices on each item has been found.
Avoid The Shopping Nightmares
But failing to plan ahead is only one of the many potential mistakes that back to school shoppers can make. Another common mistake that many people make is shopping when they are tired, hungry, angry, stressed, or rushed.
All of these conditions and emotions can make back to school shopping a nightmare even if a person can save money. But more often than not, shopping under these conditions can often lead to a person making poor decisions because their real goal is not to be shopping and so will do anything to get through the shopping process quickly.
This is not to say that a person cannot be efficient and do their back to school shopping quickly, but it is to say that shopping while hungry, tired, or otherwise physically or emotionally preoccupied can lessen the effectiveness of the shopping trip and cause for a greater chance of making mistakes.
For example, the tired or rushed person is more likely to grab the first set of pens they see on the school supply isle even if that packet of pens puts them over budget. If, however, they would take their time to look through the pens, even looking quickly if they wish, they will be more likely to find that there are cheaper pens available for purchase.
These and other common mistakes can cause a family to over spend on their back to school shopping and can be largely avoided through proper planning. As you’re out school shopping this year remember that these deals can be gone in the blink of an eye so if you need some extra money to take advantage