Have you noticed it? Aisles of your favorite big box stores are filled with notebooks, glue, rulers and pencils. Back to school season has arrived!
According to the National Retail Federation, the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $685 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics in 2018.* It's no surprise that Back to School is the second biggest spending season of the year, behind the holiday season.
But this time of year doesn't have to be taxing on your budget. We've put together some tips to help you save money while stocking up on necessary supplies.
1. Budget Before you Hit the Store
It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of brand new school supplies. But does your child really need that extra box of crayons? Or that electric pencil sharpener. Hit the store knowing exactly how much you want to spend, and with a list of what you need. It'll help you stay on track and not overspend.
2. When You Can, Buy Used
Most financially savvy parents know that they can save big on clothing at children's consignment stores. Not only can you get money or store credit for old, outgrown items, but you can find like-new clothes for a fraction of the price.
3. Get Cash Back for your Purchases
You know that you'll need to spend money on these purchases, so why not get some money back. The Rivermark Rewards Visa offers 1.50% cash back on all purchases. You can also use cashback apps like ebates and ibotta to get money back at specific retailers.
4. Organize a Clothing Swap
Just like you, your neighbors and friends need new clothes and supplies for back to school. Organize a "swap" where a group gets together and "trades" supplies. This is a great way to clean out clothes that no longer fit, while gaining some that do. Plus, who doesn't love a good get together?
Now that you're ready to save, go out and tackle the upcoming school year - we hope you have a great one!