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If you have school-age children, you probably have mixed feelings about the approach of a new school year. You may be looking forward to the relative peace and quiet of having them back in school after a long summer break. At the same time, you are probably dreading the preparation and expense involved in getting them ready to head back. The key to smart shopping for the new school year is to have a plan. It helps if you start early, but if you haven't begun yet, there's no need to panic. There's still plenty you can do to keep the costs down while still sending your child Back-to-School well equipped to hit the books.
Have a Strategy
Before heading out to the nearest shopping mall in an effort to just "get it over with", you should take a few minutes to develop a strategy. You can even take this as a teaching opportunity in money management for your youngster. By including them in the planning process, you are more likely to enlist them as an ally in your shopping effort instead of engaging them in a battle of wills once you reach the stores. The most significant things you can do are to set a budget and have a list.
Now that you know what you can afford to spend and you have your list of what you need, take a little more time to take inventory of what you already have. It may not be necessary to start from scratch with all new supplies, and especially clothing.
So now that you've whittled your list down to what you really need, it's time to take a deep breath and dive into the shopping. Be sure to check all the circulars and ads in the weekly papers so you have a game plan on where the best prices are on the items you need. These tips an also help you maximize your savings:
Back-to-School preparations can put a dent in your overall budget if you aren't prepared. Hopefully, these tips will save you a few dollars. For more tips on "Back-to-School Savings" visit the CareOne Tip Jar and type in "School". Taking a little time to plan before Back-to-School shopping can save you a bundle.
$548.72. According to the National Retail Federation, that's the average amount parents spent on each kid in 2009 for back-to-school supplies. If you have that much extra cash lying around, lucky you (and why are you reading this article?!). If, like the rest of us, that sum seems pretty intimidating, read on for some easy ways to save this fall.
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A college education is one of the most important, but expensive, investments you can make in yourself or your child. When weighing out the options, it's hard to ignore the impressive amount you could save on tuition, room, board, and transportation by staying close to home and attending a community college. Money, of course, shouldn't be the only factor in selecting a college; the quality of education and the applicability to your long-term career goals are equally as important. While there is often a stigma associated with community college, the list below provides some benefits to attending community college that you may not have considered.
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