This article, entitled "5 School year expenses you should plan for now," comes from partner site SavingsAngel.com.
School year expenses will come up sooner than you think, so now is the time to get ready. Some school year expenses are easy to remember, such as needing new clothing and school supplies – but others we tend to overlook until they come right upon us. This year, plan and prepare ahead to manage these school year budget-busters.
- Field trips
You know they’ll have them. And they’ll end up costing you something. You might need to help provide trip expenses or at least spending money. So start setting aside cash in a secure spot every week for these, so you’ll already have the funds before each trip.
Decide now if you’ll participate, or just pay the full amount you have to, so your student doesn’t have to sell anything. If you don’t want to participate – start setting aside a little money each week so it doesn’t sink your budget when the reason for the fundraiser comes around. If you need to sell, or believe your kids should for the experience, figure out a game plan ahead of time for how, where, and to whom, they will sell. That way, when the fundraiser begins, you won’t lose time just trying to get game plan together.
When it comes to fundraisers, some people would rather just give $5-$10 directly to your student for expenses, rather than buying an item; especially when it’s the same amount of money for the donor, but the student would get all of it, rather than just a portion. With that in mind, don’t be shy to mention this as an option to family and close friends.
Speaking of fundraisers, you know that at some point you’ll probably be asked to bake goodies for a bake sale or create some kind of little crafts that can be sold. Start stocking up now on ingredients while they are on sale, and craft supplies while they are on clearance. Stocking up on ingredients for treats goes double to be ready for class parties and birthdays. If your school district, or your personal health choices, encourage steering clear of sugar, look for choices that can be stored for a few months or more, like crackers or string cheese.
- Birthday parties
During the school year, your students could have multiple birthday parties to attend. Don’t wait until the week of each party to buy gifts. Create a gift box now that you add to every time you find a great deal or clearance offer on age-appropriate items. This can be trickier the older your kids and their friends get, but not impossible. If you really need gift cards or feel like they are your only choice for gift-giving needs, watch for deals on them now. Check out GiftcardZen.com, powered by RetailMeNot.com, and take advantage of special offers from your local stores. Then, as parties come around, your kids can look through the box and pick something for their friends. And you’ll not feel the financial pinch the week of every party.
- Teacher gifts
Just like creating a birthday gift box, get teacher gifts ahead of time too. Watch for clearance deals, gift card deals, or specials on the supplies needed to hand-make teacher gifts.
- Busy weeknight dinners
While there are coupons and sales on shelf-stable or freezable ingredients, stock your pantry and freezer with items to make meals. To make dinners even faster later, bag items together that will be paired up for the meal, and staple the meal plan, and even the recipe, right to the bag.