Back-To-School Shopping and Bankruptcy

5 tips back-to-school shopping tips that won’t break the bank


Photo Credit: papaija2008

Ah, sweet summer is still upon us! Days filled with BBQ, camping, sunshine… and back-to-school? That’s right, back to school shopping is right around the corner. Every year schools issue the back-to-school list and parents flock to big box stores to fill up their carts with paper, pencils and clothing.

While back-to-school is always an exciting time for your children, you may be dealing with the stress of bankruptcy and having to add this expense onto your already tight budget. Back to school shopping doesn’t have to break the bank though. Follow these tips for a sure fire way to keep in budget and enjoying the last little bit of summer!

Tip #1 – Start early.

We all know those back to school lists are coming each year and after your first shopping list, you already have a pretty good idea on what your child is going to need. As simple as it sounds, it is probably one of the best moves you can make – start your shopping early. You can actually start planning ahead for next year too. While stores like Target and Walmart offer some great deals during this time of the year, towards the end of their back-to-school season, prices will be slashed. This is a perfect opportunity for you to start stocking up on those required items like pens, paper, and markers.

Tip #2 – Take inventory.

Chances are you already have some items on your back-to-school list. Use this time as a time to organize and take inventory of what your child already has. Items such as rulers and binders can be passed on from year to year. You can also get creative and choose a plain binder for your child to use, but dress it up with a FREE printable online. Not only will it allow your child to have a fun binder, but it can be changed throughout the year depending on your child’s preferences.

Tip #3 – Create a budget…and stick to it.

Money is most likely tight if you are going through a bankruptcy. It is important to set aside a budget and stick to it. Do your research and find out how much items will cost using your back-to-school shopping list as a guide. Pinching pennies is okay here , especially when it comes to pencils and paper. Pinching pennies could mean choosing the plain pencils over the glow-in-the-dark ones or scouting out deals on cheap paper. Things to include in your budget: school supplies, shoes, clothing items, sports items if your child plays a sport, lunch box, etc. This is also a great opportunity to teach your children about budgeting. Have them sit down with you and work on the budget together.

Tip #4 – Shop on tax free day.

August 2 – 4 is official known as Tax-Free Holiday weekend here in Tennessee (for your state, check here). Take this opportunity to save a few extra dollars by planning your school shopping on these days. Items that are tax free are school supplies, computers, and clothing. While there is a price limit on these items, saving every extra penny can help during this time. The great thing about the TN Tax Free Holiday is it includes items sold via mail, telephone, e-mail and the internet if you order and pay during the tax free period.

Tip #5 – Hit up the bargain stores.

While stores like Target, Walmart, and Old Navy have good deals during back-to-school shopping, it doesn’t hurt to shop at some of the bargain stores, such as the Dollar Tree. Here you can find plain school supplies – and the craft necessities to jazz them up with your child.

Wherever you are at in the bankruptcy process, if you have kids, with a little planning and creativity, you can make this a special time for them. If you have the money, set aside a little for something special they really have their eye on or even just a special treat while you are out shopping. The time spent preparing can be a great bonding experience and learning opportunity for your children. Make the most of this time!