The average American family will spend $606.40 on clothes, shoes, school supplies and electronics this back-to-school shopping season, compared to $548.72 last year, according to a 2010 Back-to-School survey, done by BIGresearch.
Before rushing out and buying every pencil and school uniform on sale, we urge consumers to do their research, think logically and plan their shopping appropriately. Consolidated Credit has devised key points to keep in mind when back-to-school shopping. They call this their P.R.P.R method, which stands for Prioritize, Research, Plan, and be Realistic.
Before taking your little ones shopping, prioritize your needs and stay focused. For example, ask yourself, does your child really need three new pairs of shoes? Or could they easily function with one or two new pairs of shoes? A month or two into the school year, take them shopping again for additional shoes if you feel that it’s necessary. This will allow you to spread out your back-to-school shopping and save more money, that way you aren’t penny crunching after the fact.
Another factor moms and dads should consider when doing their back-to-school shopping is researching favorite stores via the Internet. The Internet is the biggest gateway to information and every major retailer has a website where you can find sales for the back-to-school shopping season. And by now, most retailers have a Twitter page and/or Facebook page. Add the stores to your Facebook account or follow them on Twitter, and with a simple Smartphone application you can get notifications from social media feeds letting you know when and what sales will be happening. Remember to keep in mind the trendy yet cost effective clothing stores when doing your research too. TJ Maxx and Target offer some of the same things that Macy’s offers, but for 40 percent less. With a few easy clicks, you can compare prices and find out firsthand what stores are best to shop at without even leaving your house.
To make back-to-school shopping efficient, fun and thrifty we encourage parents to plan and think logically when shopping. Don’t over shop just because it is a new school year – buy enough school supplies to last for the first half of the year, especially if there is an amazing sale. But, if the sale is only giving you 10 cents off of a product, there’s no rush to purchase mass amounts all at once. If you spread your shopping throughout the year as school supplies are needed, your budget and cash flow will be better.
Although parents would love to buy children everything they want, this is not always realistic and you do not, under any circumstances, want to get into credit card debt for whims of your children. Buy pieces they can mix-and-match with items already in their closet; this will stretch the new back-to-school wardrobe. You do not need to buy your child 20 new back-to-school outfits at once; six to eight new pieces in addition to their current wardrobe will cover their first month or two back at school. And if you feel you didn”t buy enough clothes, you can take them on a follow-up shopping trip once winter starts to approach.
During the entire back-to-school shopping season, we encourage consumers to use Consolidated Credit’s P.R.P.R. method and use our financial common sense tips to get the best and most for your money.
About Consolidated Credit
Incorporated in 1993, Consolidated Credit provides educational assistance, budget planning, as well as credit and debt management plans throughout the United States. Consolidated Credit is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies, the Better Business Bureau, the US Chamber of Commerce, and is ISO 9001 registered which accepted worldwide.