Back to school spending puts a strain on the family.
You can’t escape the fact that children need new things to start the school year. Hopefully, you’ve set aside some money for this time of year. However, even the best planners can still find that the costs of getting the kids back to school stress them out.
Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce the stress.
Back to School Needs vs. Wants
Kids’ back to school spending needs can seem endless. They “need” new clothes, notebooks, calculators, lunch supplies and so much more. However, if you look more closely at the list, you’ll discover items they may not need after all.
Kids can feel a lot of pressure to have certain things to fit in with their peers. They may want the latest shoes, or they may think that they need a cooler backpack. As a parent, it can be hard to disappoint a child who doesn’t really need these things. However, focus on the important things first.
Make a list of all of the things your child both wants and needs for back to school. Go through the list and highlight all items that are absolutely necessary. For example, if your child’s school requires a uniform and she’s outgrown last year’s then getting a new one is non-negotiable. However, if her shoes are suitable, she doesn’t need new ones, yet.
You’ll feel a lot of stress relief knowing that your child has exactly what she truly needs for class. At the same time, you’ll be teaching your children an important lesson in financial priorities.
Implement Smart Budgeting to Reduce Stress
Not knowing if you have enough money to meet your needs is a big cause of financial stress. Eliminate that stressor by planning for back to school spending.
- Make a back to school budget.
- Review finances to make sure that your budget is realistic.
- Prioritize the items by need so you know what to buy first.
- Shop using coupons, deals, and rebates to save money on each item.
- Cash in spare change and use credit card rewards to purchase school supplies.
Setting and sticking to a budget reduces the stress of back to school spending.
Overhaul Your Finances with an Eye Toward Saving Money
Back to school is a good time to take a look at your budget overall. Look for all of the places where you can cut back on spending. For example, cancel the subscriptions to services that you are no longer using. Re-commit to money-saving strategies your family may have gotten sloppy about during summer spending. Refocusing on how your family can save money helps you feel like you’re more in control of your finances. This, in turn, helps you de-stress about spending.
Reduce Stress in All Areas of Life
We often blame money for our stress. However, when you manage your stress, it can actually help your finances. That’s because when you de-stress, you can see more clearly. Your spending and saving will both get better. Instead of focusing on how to save on back to school spending, focus on the ways that you can reduce stress in general. A few suggestions include:
- Trade nightly massages with your partner.
- Meditate for five minutes each morning and evening.
- Journal to uncover sources of stress and come up with solutions.
- Reconnect with your family during some shared downtime.
Make an effort to reduce your general stress. When it comes time to spend for school, focus on an approach that helps you feel like you’re still in control. This way, you can get what your kids need without elevating your stress levels.
Do you have any tips for beating the stress of back to school spending? Share with us in the comments below!