Back-to-school season has arrived in Arkansas and most states in the U.S.
While some parents are excited to see their children back in the classroom, few look forward to paying for all the new clothes and school supplies that come with back-to-school shopping. Thanks to inflation nudging prices up on everyday items, most parents plan on spending $661 per child.
That’s a lot of money to spend at a time like this. It doesn’t help how back-to-school shopping is sandwiched between summer and the holidays — two times a year. You’re bound to spend a little more anyways.
Are you worried about your wallet surviving the rest of the year? Follow these tips for guidance.
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1. Cut Back on Other Areas
Your budget could be essential in affording this year’s back-to-school shopping. As a spending plan that outlines all your monthly bills, it gives you a pretty good idea of how much money you need to hit your targets.
This year, things are likely tighter than usual, thanks to inflation. This uptick in prices has made it harder for cash-strapped families to balance their budgets, some more than others, depending on where they live.
According to Arkansas Senator John Boozman, inflation has reached a national emergency as the average Arkansan pays $452 extra monthly bills.
If you’re feeling the crunch, cut out splurges — from extra snacks to day trips to museums. You’ll want to put a hold on the fun stuff to ensure you can equip your kids with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.
2. Don’t Sacrifice Savings
While your child’s back-to-school supply takes priority, don’t hit pause on your savings — especially if you’re one of four Arkansans who didn’t have any emergency funds before the pandemic. Any month you live without a fully stocked emergency leaves you vulnerable to the unexpected, so you’ll want to pay your savings back ASAP.
Go back to your budget to see if there’s anything else you can cut, so you can juggle back-to-school spending and your monthly savings.
If an unexpected expense arrives before you can restock your emergency fund, your state’s online line of credit can help in these urgent situations. Researching online loans in Arkansas is as easy as starting a Google search and typing in your keyword. This goes for all other states, too.
Having an online line of credit makes financial sense at any time of the year. Since it doesn’t work like the average cash advance, you can keep it untouched in your financial toolkit until the next emergency.
3. Use Your Windfalls
The unexpected doesn’t always have to be frightening. Sometimes, you’re greeted with one of these nice surprises:
- Receiving a 10% coupon for making an account with an e-retailer
- Finding a $20 bill on the ground
- Getting a rebate on a planned, essential purchase
- Winning $10 on a casual bet between friends
- Redeeming loyalty reward points
- Free printables for back to school
Studies show even small windfalls have the power to change the way you spend, making you more likely to purchase something you (or your child) don’t need. So, ensure you arrive at the store with a list to stick with the essentials.
Back-to-school shopping can be challenging, especially now that inflation is at a 40-year high. Surviving it with your budget intact relies on forethought — use your budget, cut expenses, and find those windfalls to get what your child needs this school year.
Featured Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva: https://www.pexels.com