Back To School 2015: The Stuff, The Cost And The Faces

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.

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back to school
Smiling girls off to school in Jamaica (Source:

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
  • Clipboards
  • 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
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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!

Enjoy the moments
Enjoy the moments

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!

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26 thoughts on “Back To School 2015: The Stuff, The Cost And The Faces

  1. Thanks for the back to school tips. I homeschool my kids, but even so this is the time of year I stock up with supply’s.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I left my hat to you all who home school! I only had to do homework with my daughter and that in itself was challening! You are true heroes! πŸ™‚

  2. I’m with you … back to school season really is a stressful time. Now, we take advantage of tax-free weeks, but it’s still quite costly. I appreciate the tips for saving.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome! What are tax-free weeks?

  3. Back to school certainly is a very expensive time of the year. It’s competing these days with Christmas even! Thanks for the great tips.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, that was a thought on my mind as well – which is more expensive???

  4. I read a lot of those posts with similar thoughts. My kids are are only 11 months but I have started thinking on how to get all the back to school stuff when it’s time, this Helps! Thanks

    1. Ms Claudette

      Glad to be of service! Namaste πŸ™‚

  5. These are great tips. I am done shopping and I used coupons to save some money.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Hurray for coupons! Way to go! πŸ™‚

  6. You are right with every points you posted here. Back to school season is one of the costly seasons ever!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for that. I wonder which is more expensive – Christmas or back-to-school? Thanks for dropping by! πŸ™‚

  7. Elizabeth O.

    Expensive indeed, but definitely worth it. I love shopping for back to school supplies, but I also love saving. Before shopping, I normally check the supplies from last year, if there are unused or barely used supplies, I let the kids use them for this year.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Do they – use last year’s stuff? Some children want new things only but I guess that’s where that word comes in – “No.” Have a great day!

  8. great tips.. i always check out cash back sites before making an online purchase. I use coupons and try to stay away from sale events. Stock up during clearance

    1. Ms Claudette

      Sound strategies, if I may say so! πŸ™‚ Thanks for dropping by!

  9. We got our list and it seems a little crazy for a kindergartner, but we’ll see. I’m pretty excited, as this is my first one to school.

    1. Ms Claudette

      i can just imagine the excitement in your house! Have fun shopping! πŸ™‚

  10. Wynn chow

    Thank you for your tips, I prepare

    1. Ms Claudette

      You’re welcome and thank you for visiitng! πŸ™‚

  11. When my kids were in school, we could not buy anything until they came home with “the dreaded list”. It usually equated to about $85 per child, including 6 boxes of tissues, hand sanitizer, 8 3-ring binders, book covers (what a waste), and more. I feel your pain.

    1. Ms Claudette

      No love, not my pain! I don’t have children of that age and my granddaughter is only one. We still have a few years to go! Thanks for sharing your experience. πŸ™‚

  12. Thank you for the great tips! Even with all of the great sales, I still tend to overspend πŸ™

    1. Ms Claudette

      The temptation is great! πŸ™‚ Thanks for dropping by.

  13. Some great tips here. My son is just starting reception here in the UK (first year of full time school – he’s 4), so only needs a school uniform which is grey trousers, red school jumper and white polo shirt and shoes, but I used to be a teacher and the amount of stationery kids used to bring in which was not necessary and so expensive was crazy!

    1. Ms Claudette

      I was one of those parents scaring you! My daughter scared the heck out of me that if she didn’t have all that stuff, she wouldn’t be successful! πŸ™ Now, I know better. LOL. Thanks for sharing and congrats to your son on his big move! Namaste.

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