Back-to-School Checklist for Parents
While we may lament summer coming to an end, there’s one upcoming event that’ll have many parents jumping for joy: the beginning of the school season. Although you may be happy that your students will soon be off to further their education (and give you a bit of a break), there’s one part of the back-to-school season that isn’t so sweet. Save yourself from multiple trips to the store and dropping loads of money on your student’s school supplies with these tips.
Crayons, Pencils, Pens, Oh My
Your student’s going to need some supplies for the classroom, and these supplies will vary depending on his or her age. While you’ll be able to think of most of the things he or she will need–think notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers–it wouldn’t hurt to ask the student for some input here. If you’re really struggling, you could even consult with other parents or with the teachers beforehand to make sure you student will be well-prepared. Keep in mind that, while it’ll be cheaper to buy in bulk, you’ll want to be sure that your student’s tried and tested the specific brand before you buy. What happens when he or she doesn’t like the type of pencil you bought and you’ve stockpiled a jumbo box of them?
Make an Appearance With an Updated Wardrobe
It isn’t just the supplies that go into your student’s backpack that you’ll need to consider. If summer activities have taken their toll on shoes and shirts, it’s probably time to get some fresh new duds. It’s a little silly to get caught up in appearances, but there is something to be said about being dressed to impress, especially on the first day of class. You need not necessarily limit your shopping to brick-and-mortar stores, as you can find plenty of options online these days, especially on Amazon. If you choose to buy online, it wouldn’t hurt to make your purchases a little in advance so you can change out clothing that doesn’t fit as you thought it would. And if you’re not willing to drop big money on something as simple as clothing, you’d be surprised at the quality items you can find at thrift and consignment stores.
The Big Expenses
Along with all the small stuff, the older your student gets, the bigger the purchases you may need to make. For example, do this year’s math classes require a graphing calculator? Will your family need a new laptop to help him or her get essays finished? These types of purchases can range anywhere from a hundred to several hundred dollars, and while you may be able to finance them with a credit card, it’s understandable if you don’t want to go into debt for something you’d be trusting a child with. For a compromise, consider buying these large purchases refurbished or secondhand. Typically these devices will be only slightly used and in perfect working condition for a student, but at a fraction of the cost of a new item.
It takes a little finesse and a lot of patience, but once you’ve got the back-to-school shopping routine down, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep. For best results, try to keep your student in the loop as much as possible. Not only will you save yourself from making unnecessary purchases, but it’ll also help him or her get back into the school spirit. And the back-to-school resupply may teach a thing or two about shopping smart – consider it a learning experience.