When it comes to back-to-school budgeting it never really seems to end. For the entire school year you need to consider and budget in the neverending expenses that will pop up during the year. This can be hard on any family’s budget, especially in a city like Vancouver where the cost of living is always on the rise.
As soon as school starts you have to invest in all their needed supplies. You then need to top up their wardrobes since they’ve outgrown items since the year before. You need to cover planner costs. You need to pay for hot lunch programs if the school offers any. You need to think about additional programming costs. Then last but not least you need to keep field trips in mind, usually an average of 3/year for any given class.
The costs don’t end there though, we also have to keep in mind saving for their future education after high school. Housing costs, tuitions, books and everything else that comes with that. School expenses can be a struggle for anyone and the price tags get bigger as your child continues their educational journey.
So how exactly do we keep up with it all?
Thankfully you can do well with a little planning ahead and help from some experts.
- Start saving as soon as possible and save whatever you can even if that is just pocket change you’ve collected over the week. Every little bit counts and when you are placing it in tax free savings accounts or RESP’s it will only increase over time.
- Never be afraid to ask questions there are experts out there that want to help you save for your future. Talk to your friends and see who they trust with their money planning, find someone you trust to work with and start creating that future!
- Save anywhere you can whether that means using all your kids supplies till the last drop or sharpen or maybe only buying clothes as you need them rather than all at once at the beginning of the year to stay on trend with the “cool kids”. Shop with the sales even if that means you are doing your back to school shopping a couple weeks into school.
- Know when to ask for help because sometimes life happens and can throw unexpected expenses your way. When this happens you don’t want to have to deplete your entire savings you’ve worked so hard for. That is when you can ask for a little temporary help between paydays to make it through. Sometimes a little micro loan is all you need to squeak by in an emergency without destroying your savings.
Back-to-School budgeting can be way more simple as long as you are willing to put in the work to prepare or ask for help when you need it!
Tell me, what are some of your back-to-school budgeting tips?