Back to school is an exciting time of new beginnings, new opportunities and fresh school supplies. What’s not so exciting, however, is the financial stress that comes along with it. Below are a few ideas on how to start the school year off on the right foot while still saving a few bucks.


It’s no secret that back-to-school shopping can cost families a pretty penny. According to a national retail study, families with children in elementary school through high school can plan to spend an average of $696.70, while families with college students are expected to spend an average of $976.78. Both numbers saw an increase compared to 2018 spending.

By developing a strategy beforehand, you will have a higher chance of only buying the necessities and not overspending. A few tricks we recommend:


Create a Budget and Stick to It

Budgeting is a tried-and-true method of saving money, and it fits perfectly into back-to-school shopping. By creating a budget and holding yourself accountable, you can avoid splurging on the latest tech gadget or unnecessary brand-name items.


Compare Prices at Local Retailers

Most retailers will carry the same products; however, some may have better prices than others. Start early and shop around to see which businesses are offering the best deals. Plus, take advantage of online shopping to compare pricing and avoid the lines and crowds!


Go Secondhand

This tip is especially true for expensive books, sports equipment and technology. Most gently used items can be discounted upwards of 30%–60%, so don’t be afraid to look into secondhand.


Sign up for Rewards and Email Coupons

Businesses often offer incentives for signing up for text or email coupons. Take advantage of these opportunities and save 10%–15% on your purchases; these discounts can and will add up.


For more tips on year-round budgeting and savings, check out the rest of our blogs here.