The Most Expensive Time Of The Year
Most of my blogging colleagues’ pages are full with wonderful back to school information. For example, a page where students can ask for programming help to assist with classes. As I read through them, several emotions rushed through me – the biggest one? Relief!
Smiling, my comment on most of these pages began with “Well, as I do not have a school-aged child …” and ended with the smiley face emoticon.
Children are wonderful – wonderfully expensive! When I see very young women, children themselves in my view, pushing strollers with one child and another one hanging on to their leggings, I smile as well. It is very cute to have babies, some young women think, but when it comes time to pay the price of the cuteness it is another matter. Every if they do add so much to the bills! My friend recommended I look into some energy saving websites to make sure I get the best deal.
The Ever Expanding Back To School List
I remember vividly my dread every August when my daughter would come bouncing in with her back to school list. Money was tight for many of those years and her list was long and grew longer each year that she went up a grade.
There was one year in particular though that really stands out. My daughter was about 5 or 6 years old and we decided to redecorate her bedroom with some pretty wall decals. She was learning all about letters and numbers at school and so we got some wall stickers to help familiarise her with her schoolwork. Redecorating her bedroom might have been expensive but it was definitely worth it, as she managed to pick up her letters and numbers much faster than her classmates!
For the most part, Abigail was like every other girl and wanted to fit in with her circle of friends. As she got older it got harder to find all the things she asked for and not to mention it getting harder to get her back to sleeping on her casper mattress to get back into her normal sleeping routine again but that’s all just a part of your kid growing up.
We lived in Jamaica up until she was 15 years old, so she wore school uniforms for all those years – a set colour tunic, blouse, shoes and socks – but there were still books, supplies and gadgets that she just had to have because everyone else would have it.
When we migrated to Canada, the list changed and grew so long that I felt it would one day strangle me. No longer did we have uniforms, so an entire back to school wardrobe had to be bought. Then the supplies were so many as North American kids – and she became one the first September we landed – have an appetite for the latest and the best.
To the parents going through this over the next couple of weeks, my word and promise to you is: “There is an end in sight!” In the meanwhile, along with my fellow bloggers, I found a few stories that might help you as you set out to shop or at least bring a smile to your face.
Back To School Money Savings Tips
1. Do Not Buy These 10 Items
Forbes Magazine published this great list of 10 items you really do not need to buy, not this year and not the next. Five of the items that “teachers” – not the author, suggest you leave out of your shopping carts:
- Mechanical Pencils
- Trapper Keepers or Zip-up Binders
- Note cards
- Packs of loose leaf paper
Check out the full list here and if you have already purchased any of these, tell the kids the teacher said to take them back. Be sure to come back and tell me how that worked.
2. Watch Your Spending This Back to School
According to one of my trusted sources on things money-related, Forbes Magazine, “a recent report from the American Express Spending & Savings Tracker identified that parents anticipate spending an average of $1,239 this back-to-school season. This is up 8% from 2014, and up 24% since 2011. With this in mind, the report also reveals many parents are limiting their own activities as a result of back-to-school season and the spending that comes with it. Nearly three quarters of parents will make trade-offs in order to afford back-to-school expenses and of those, more than half of parents (53%) will cut down on dining out.”
Read the full story here and follow the three tips to keep your spending on track:
- Frequent Saving Websites and Flash Sale Sites
- Clothing Swap
- Money Saving Apps such as Level Money
You can also do it old school and create a budget for your back to school with paper and pencil and stick to it.
The Beautifully Different Face of Back To School 2015
Wrapping up my grandmother of a one-year old who is not ready for back to school advice column (long title written with a huge smile) with one of the cutest stories that I have read since the “season” started.
Children from every walk of life are heading back to school in a couple of weeks, including some who do not fall into society’s standard of beauty. Aiming to change that, one organization has as one of its cover girls for Back To School 2015 the most adorable child who so happens to have Down Syndrome.
Watch this video of Cora Slocum, a 4-year-old who is featured in this back-to-school ad campaign for Livie & Luca, a children’s shoe company.
With or without children going back to school, do share my tips with your friends, as well as leave a comment below with your own tips that can help my other readers save this Back To School season. After all is said and done, we only have our children for a while, sometimes it feels like a moment so enjoy them – money or no money!
Do subscribe and receive updates of our posts here. Our afternoon post will be from Contributor, Clara Brown, that was previously published last August and on this very topic of children and supporting them to excel.
Have a great Throwback Thursday!