Going back to school can be very stressful – new activities, new classes, and new routines. Save yourself some first-week headaches and make a plan. If you schedule back-to-school doctor’s appointments early, you won’t be worried about missing the deadline for the annual checkup and/or pre-sport physicals. You can schedule them at a time that is most convenient for you.
It’s also a good idea to get on a “school schedule.” That means having the kids go to bed a little sooner and start the day a bit earlier. Adjusting your child’s sleep schedule will lessen the shock of those early school mornings and help them be awake and ready for their first day.
Back to school costs can really add up. This is especially true in families with multiple children. Luckily, there are several ways you can save on back to school shopping.
Don’t be afraid to recycle and repurpose supplies from last year. Before you buy all-new pencils, art supplies and scissors, dig through your child’s backpack, homework area, and pencil bag and see if there are any leftover supplies that are still in working order.
Same goes for clothing – look through last year’s wardrobe and see what still fits. You might be surprised! If your child has had a growth spurt (as kids often do), consider hand-me-downs. Often, neighbors, friends or family members will have clothing that their child has outgrown that needs a new home. It’s a great way to save money, build community and recycle clothing. Second-hand shops are also a great alternative. No sense paying full price for shoes when your student will outgrow them in just a few months.
Finally, keep an eye out for back to school sales and coupons. If you strategically plan your back to school shopping trip, you can save quite a bit of money. You can also get a better value by teaming up with friends, family members and classmates to buy in bulk and split the supplies. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
As your child prepares for a new school year, it’s important to consider your long-term savings goals. Investing in a North Carolina College Savings Plan, also known as an NC 529 Account®, takes a minimum contribution of only $25. By starting early, you can build your child’s college fund slowly but surely. Friends and family members can contribute to the account on birthdays, holidays and special occasions so when the time comes, your family will be prepared for the costs associated with higher education.
Start the new school year off right by planning ahead, shopping wisely and setting your child up for success. For more information on how you can start saving today, visit NC529.org.