Preparing for the start of the school year can be an exciting time for you and your kids, but not for your budget. Planning ahead and finding deals can have a big impact on how much you spend on back-to-school shopping. Our tips below can help you zero in on the best buys
Before you begin shopping, make a list of everything that’s needed for the upcoming school year. Next, note which items you already have and which ones you can borrow from friends and family. You won’t have any cash outlay for the supplies you don’t need. Next, determine how much you can reasonably expect to spend on each item you’ll need to buy, and work the amount into your budget.
Leading up to the beginning of the school year, most retailers send out coupons and sales ads. Get in on the deals by signing up to be included on your favorite stores’ email lists so you get extra coupons and special offers. Follow your favs on social media and download their apps to learn about promotional events. Just keep your original list in mind when you find new deals – you don’t want to splurge on items you don’t need just because they’re a good price.
Since summer’s still in the air when the school year begins, your kids won’t be wearing long sleeves or big coats anytime soon. Look for items that can be worn over multiple seasons, such as t-shirts that can be layered with a cardigan, lightweight leggings, or casual sneakers that can be worn with both shorts or jeans. Many of these items can be purchased during end-of-summer sales.
Before hitting the stores, check out online coupon sites like RetailMeNot® and Groupon® for discounts. These sites offer hundreds of coupons and provide printable or downloadable coupons that you can use. Search for blogs that provide tips on where to find the best deals that week, general ways to save, and how to combine – aka stack - coupons for even more savings.
Some brands have online-only promotions, offering more savings if you purchase items online instead of in-store. You may also be able to have your purchase shipped to the store so that you can pick it up yourself and save on shipping. Check out your favorite retailer’s website to see if there are better sales online than in-store. They may also have a wider selection and additional options that aren’t available at your local brick-and-mortar location. Just make sure you’re familiar with shipping costs and return policies. If you have to pay a hefty delivery charge and there isn’t a ship-to-store option, it may cancel out the money you thought you were going to save. And if you’re not able to return what you purchased, you could end up stuck with unwanted items if the items you order online don’t meet your expectations.
In addition to planning for the school year, you’ll want to plan for your child’s financial future, too. With our youth accounts, you can watch their money grow with our special youth savings rate – children under age 18 qualify for a 1.00%* Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on savings account balances of up to $500.
This youth savings rate is one of many membership benefits that save you time and money. Get in on the perks by joining PSECU today!
*APY denotes Annual Percentage Yield. To be eligible for the Youth Savings rate, the primary account owner must be under the age of 18. All eligible Youth Savings share accounts earn 1.00% APY for balances of $.01 to $500.00. For balances of $500.01 and over, the Regular Savings Share APY will apply. Rates and information are subject to change at any time. Fees could reduce earnings on the account(s). The disclosed dividend rates are variable and may change after the member opens the account(s). Find our current dividend rates at psecu.com/rates. PSECU requires a $5 minimum balance to open and maintain a Regular share account. This $5 share account deposit is also required to be eligible to receive the Youth Savings rate, and the member must be in good standing as defined by PSECU’s Bylaws, Article II, Section I. PSECU will make a $5 minimum share purchase on behalf of the member.