Did you just say “back to school,” and it’s still the middle of summer? While it’s hard to utter those words, early planning leads to smart school shopping later.
Between grade school, high school and college, millions of people will be searching for those back-to-school supplies sooner than you think. To avoid the poor-quality, high-priced items, here are a few tips to make sure you get the right supplies without breaking your budget.
- Make a list. Before you even think about going to the store (or online), make a list. Know exactly what you need before you go shopping. Write it down. Put into categories such as Paper, Writing, Electronics, Folders, Binders, Organization, etc.
- Check your old supplies. We tend to overbuy each year, so take inventory of what you already have.
- Don’t focus on the style. You don’t have to have matching prints on all your supplies. Just because there is a new iPhone case that matches a new iPad case that matches your bedspread, you don’t have to upgrade to have it all. Think function, not style.
- Start early. By planning what you need (remember that list you made?) you space out your purchases. This helps if you’re on a tight budget. By just purchasing a few items at a time, your wallet won’t feel as empty all at once.
- Go for the quality when shopping for electronics. When it comes time to do that really extensive research paper, you’re going to wish you had a quality laptop and printer to get the job done. When searching for quality items, remember to do your research. Make sure that it has what you need. Quality doesn’t always mean the most expensive, just make sure the specs will meet your needs.
- Buy used. When it comes to textbooks, used is definitely the most economical. Check for used (but good condition) reading materials online or at your local bookstore. Not only will it save money, many times, they come with good notes that other students have taken.
Back to school may be the last thing you want to think about during the middle of summer, but planning ahead and knowing what you already have will save you money. If you don’t have the budget available, look into a personal loan. This will provide funds to make the purchases you need, and you’ll be able to pay it back over time. To find a personal loan that is right for you, contact your credit union for options.
HealthNet Federal Credit Union
1591 Chickering Lane, Cordova, TN 38016
(901) 226-1111 | www.healthnetfcu.org