If you’re a parent of a high school student, you’ve probably already spent hundreds of dollars on back to school supplies. Notebooks, pens and pencils, and those expensive graphing calculators you wonder about the usage of – back to school shopping lists have gotten longer and longer each year. While it’s necessary to start the year off right with fresh supplies, many parents forget to consider the costs they’ll incur throughout the year.
Parenting a high school student is expensive! You may think the worst is over, but the school year has plenty of spending for you left to do. Save on spending this year with these tips.
Recycle what you can. We’re not talking about old cans and plastic bottles (though you should do that, too!). Think about reusing other items. For example, use old notebooks that haven’t filled up as scrap paper, whether it’s to take down a message, jot down a to-do list, or calculate math homework on, instead of heading to the store and buying a brand new pad of paper. Keep outdated magazines for homework collages or group projects – you never know when you’ll need them! In addition, keep in mind that every supply from the previous year doesn’t need to be thrown out and purchased new. Pens, pencils, crayons, and markers that are in good condition can be used again.
Opt for homemade. Everyone has a friend (or four) that share a birth month. If your child is a bit of a social butterfly and feels the need to buy birthday gifts for everyone they come in contact with, this can quickly add up! Instead of purchasing gifts this year, inspire your high schooler to make gifts for their friends instead. Whether it’s a collage of pictures to install in their bedroom or a plan for a day in the park, thoughtful, personalized gifts are the way to go. Experiences and homemade gifts are the most memorable, and they show that extra time and devotion was taken into setting them up or creating them.
Shop local. New school supplies aren’t the only thing your child will be demanding this year. You can’t forget about homecoming, which has become something of a miniature version of prom amongst millennials. Fear not, parents of young women! You don’t have to spend a month’s salary on two formal dresses this year. Small, local boutiques are great for finding homecoming dresses at reasonable prices. Convincing your daughter to shop small is simple – boutiques often carry unique designs you can’t find elsewhere, so she won’t have to worry about someone having then same exact look.
Use coupons. No matter what your buying, coupons are always useful. Now more than ever, it’s easier to find coupons and save money during every shopping trip. You can take the old-school route and clip your coupons from weekly circulars, or modernize your money-saving and download various apps. Cellular apps are a great, easy way to get into couponing. Surprisingly, there are useful apps out there, unlike the ever-popular timewasters like Snapchat and Instagram! Generic money-saving apps (like RetailMeNot) and store-specific ones (like Target’s Cartwheel) make it easy for you to find out what’s on sale in addition to coupons for items you regularly purchase. As the parent of a high school student, these apps can save you hundreds of dollars every school year, and should definitely be in your arsenal this year.
Keep yourself, your high schooler, and your wallet in check throughout the entire school year with these money-saving methods. What fun ways do you save money during the school year?