8 Back-to-School Savings Hacks for Parents

8 Back-to-School Savings Hacks for Parents

Next to holiday gift shopping, American parents spend more money on back-to-school shopping than any other seasonal event. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual back-to-school report, families routinely spend over $600 come August and September—even though about half of Americans have less than that in a savings account.

Many parents face the dilemma of how to spend within their means while providing everything they can for their children’s education.


1. Set a Budget

Pick a number based on your personal finances.

Will you be able to pay all of your other expenses like rent, gas, and groceries? Will you be able to pay off any credit you use in the next month?

Do what works for you, because you can do more with less money by using some of our next tips.


2. Write a List

Most parents use a shopping list, but few write one themselves.

Writing a list is a great way to separate the things your children need from the things you just want your children to have.

Using your list will help you stay within your budget.


3. Take Inventory

Whether it’s on the bookshelf, under the bed, or in the back of the closet, you never know where you’re going to find a lost set of markers or an unused notebook.

Taking inventory makes sure you don’t waste money on what you already have.


4. Make Use of Like-New Hand-Me-Downs

Kids don’t like raggedy hand-me-downs, but sometimes kids outgrow items before they can even wear them out.

Ask your family and friends for items that stand the test of time, like books, outerwear, shoes, writing supplies, or art supplies.


5. Be Wary of Sales/Promotions

Just like Black Friday, back-to-school sales are often lures to get you to buy more than you need.

Buy two get one free might seem like a good deal, but do you really need three sets of 72 crayons?

There’s a fine line between saving money on sales and spending money on sales. Sticking to your list from step 2 can help!


6. Compare Prices Online

If you aren’t sure how good a deal is, you can compare products and prices across multiple stores online.

Online stores can also good places to find reviews from past customers.


7. Stick to Your Budget!

Remember that budget you set in step 1? Here’s the important part: stick to it!

While some budgets are more flexible than others, sticking to your budget is the key to spending only what you need to.


8. Start Saving for Next Year

Planning for next year is the best way to make sure you have a budget for everything you need (and even some extras too!)

Urban Partnership Bank offers several options for flexible savings like our Partnership Savings or  Premium Money Market Savings accounts.

Your deposits support our mission, by funding loans to low-to-middle income communities on the South and West Sides of Chicago and in Detroit.