September is just around the corner and the kids are gearing up to head back to school. The kids want everything, but you cannot afford everything. How do you send the kids back to school on a limited budget? What if you don't have enough money to afford those new clothes the kids desperately need?How do send the kids back without breaking the bank? Well there are several ways to save money on this back to school season without breaking the bank.
New or Used?
Believe it or not you don't have to break the bank when sending the kids back to school. Look in your local newspaper for garage sales. There are a lot of hidden gems at garage sales. In fact a lot of rich people I know shop at garage sales for exactly the same reason you should: deals. There are a lot of gently used items for sale at garage sales for less than you would pay at a retail store. Consider kids clothing, there is no shame in getting second hand clothes to wear. When I was growing up, all my clothes were hand me downs from my brother. My parents couldn't afford the retail prices so they shopped at garage sales. Aside from the clothes being out of style, my parents saved a ton of money and you can too.
Look into second hand or consignment shops, it will be well worth your while. Instead of paying say $60 for a pair of jeans, you could be paying say, $20 or less. Why stop at clothing? Used furniture can be had for significantly less than what you would pay at a big box store brand new. Old wood furniture is especially a good deal. No matter the condition, wood furniture can always be restored if you have the time and know how. Forget those particle board pieces of junk you get from the big box stores, wood is better and lasts longer. Wood is pricier than cheap particle board, in the long run it is a much better deal.
Second hand computers are also a good way to send your teens back to school with. It may not be as fast as a new computer, but it is functional and will still work. Computers can be upgraded with a larger hard drive and more memory, which is a good investment. Think twice about upgrading to the latest and greatest video and sound cards. These computer parts become obsolete so fast you won't know what hit your pocket book. Whats $300 for a video and sound card today will drop in price 3 months from now. What you need is a computer that will do word processing, spreadsheets, surf the internet, and some odds and ends here and there. If your teen wants to play games on it, you can save money by getting a used game console. But this is for school right not games? Well every parent knows their teen will probably play a few games on it. If your teen really, really wants that new computer to play the latest games, then you can nicely suggest that they buy it and your off the hook.
Second hand or used text books is also a good way to save even more money. Sure new textbooks are great, but with a used one, you can save any where from $40 to $50+ just because its used. Be sure to look for any underlining, highlighting as this will reduce the value of the book considerably. My first semester in college I bought all my textbooks brand new. As I walked the halls, I started noticing little signs that offered the same textbooks I bought brand new for a considerable discount. Guess what I did the next semester? That's right I bought used textbooks, as many as were available. Of course the instructor would change the textbook, thereby forcing the students to purchase it new from the college bookstore. This was the exception, rather than the rule. As I later found out, the instructor was told by the program coordinator to use text book xyz this semester and it was brand spanking new with the new book price of course.
School supplies like pens, papers and binders can be picked up for a good price at any office supply or discount store right now. Stock up now and you won't have to pay full price later. You might even have enough left over for next school year. If you work in an office, maybe suggest to the purchasing manager that there are some good sales on office supplies and you look like the hero.
There is nothing wrong with buying new, only your paying full price for an item that can be picked up at a discount elsewhere. Get over the fact that it doesn't have that new item smell to it and give your wallet a break.
Several of my rich clients always try and buy things used. Furniture, clothes, cars, etc and they save tons of money. I sometimes ask where they get their stuff from and their quite upfront about it. They scour the second stores, garage sales, online ads, anywhere to just to save a few dollars. You should too. You may think their scrooges, but that is how they got rich in the first place. So, take a page out of the play book of the rich and buy used.
About Author / Additional Info:
Mathew Jazenko is CEO of MRJ Financial Solutions and is dedicated to improving YOUR bottom line. Questions/comments http://mrjfinancialsolutions.ca or firstname.lastname@example.org