Family 411: Incorporating school supplies into the family budget
Columbus, Ohio —
Back to school expenses can take a toll on your bank account. But there are ways for parents to plan ahead and save.
A new school year means new classroom supplies and something extra for 10 year old Addison Gray.
"Sports can add up there's a lot of things that come with it whether it's the attire," said Addison's mom, Meredith Gray.
Addison is an avid soccer player.
Her mom says she tries to budget for it all.
"It's a little overwhelming," said Gray.
Parents can expect to pay for notebooks, pens, pencils, clothing and shoes. Extracurricular activities can kick up the running tally.
"Kids are doing multiple things they're not just doing one activity anymore and so those multiple activities really add up," said Krista Cavalieri with Evolve Capital.
Cavalieri helps young families with financial planning. She says back to school should be in the family budget.
"Make a line item put $150 a month away every month so that when the expense comes you're not scrambling to find the money," said Cavalieri.
A separate savings account can help ease pressure on the pocketbook.
"If you have vacations you want to plan for open a vacation savings account same for the schooling," said Cavalieri.
Cavalieri says it can be a great teaching moment for children about money habits.
"Let them know it's a limited amount of resources due to your time and money so let's prioritize what you really want to do," said Cavalieri.
Gray says with a first and fifth grader, expenses won't be as high now.
"I think once they get into junior high and high school it's probably going to be a lot more," said Gray.
Cavalieri says some families can't afford to pay for it all but can find ways to cut costs.
"They should definitely talk to the administrators because they're not going to be the only family there might be a sliding scale they can use," said Cavalieri.
Gray saves money by stretching out her kids summer wardrobe.
"Right now they haven't grown out of everything that we got from the beginning of the summer so we 're going to use that as much as we can," said Gray.
Cavalieri says parents can prepare by figuring out the costs of each activity. She recommends talking with other parents, coaches and administrators.