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How a Money-Savvy Quarterlifer Goes Back to School

We’ve tried to postpone it, yet here it is, another back to school season filled with books, backpacks, binders and most importantly, added expenses. Whether you’re heading into your first day of senior year or preparing yourself for another college semester, back-to-school shopping can definitely put a dent in your wallet. Although your shopping list can be daunting, don’t panic, these shopping tips can help you fulfill all of your needs on a budget. So sit back, relax and let us do all of the homework for you – before you’re stuck doing yours!

  1. Make a List and Check it Twice. Never walk into a store without a list of necessities in hand. It can be difficult to avoid unnecessary sale items and flashy new supplies that you don’t really need without having a focused list. Writing down all of your necessities will help you avoid excessive buying and multiple trips to the store, while also serving as a constant reminder of your actual back-to-school needs.
  2. There’s No Shame in Hand-Me-Downs. This can be an extremely helpful tip for college-age Quarterlifers. If you have a group of friends that are taking the same classes, check your curriculum to ensure it’s the same book, then buy it from one of your friends at a fraction of the price. Receiving “hand-me-down” school supplies from your friends is a great way to save money in the long run. And hey, luckily for us, binders don’t go out of style!
  3. Become an Extreme Couponer. It’s never too early to start scanning the daily paper for school supply ads. If you begin to scout out coupons early, you’ll be surprised how an added dollar savings here and there can add up and benefit you in the long run.
  4. Hoard. . .in a good way. . .not like the TV show. If you are aware of sales throughout the year, you can begin to stockpile school supplies, such as binders, paper and pencils. Compiling supplies throughout the year will help you avoid both the stressful weekend before school shopping and spending a huge chunk of money, all at one time.
  5. Put a Price on Fashion. We all know everyone wants to look trendy and fashionable as they debut their new back to school look. However, you can still look fashion forward without sending your finances into a downward spiral. Pay attention to commercials and advertisements for the best back to school clothing prices. Set your sights on places that already offer clothes at a discounted price, like T.J. Maxx or Marshalls, you'll be able to purchase great clothes at a fraction of the price. Or, if you're into the “vintage” trends, check out your local thrift stores for even deeper discounts on gently worn clothing.

See, we told you back to school shopping doesn’t have to be so scary! Start your school year off right with these back to school budgeting tips to keep you and your wallet happy!