Don’t let back to school time bust the family bank account

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Splashing around in the pool, sleeping in late and taking a break from math and science are the joys of summer for many children. However, long evenings chasing fireflies and no homework don’t last forever; those days will come to an end as students prepare to head back to school.

Before the classroom doors open, parents should prepare for school and college expenses. According to a recent study from Huntington Bank, school supplies and extracurricular activities for the 2015-16 school year cost an average of:

  • $650 for elementary school students.
  • $940 for middle school students.
  • $1,400 for high school students.

Here are several tips to help parents prepare for the upcoming school year:

  1. Shop early. Most schools offer a list of required school supplies and books your child will need. Contact your child’s school or visit the website to get the list and begin looking for sales and bargains before the summer ends.
  2. Inventory last year's school supplies. Look in the bottom of those book bags and in your child’s room to see what supplies you already have, before going out to buy new items.
  3. Set a budget and stick to it. School clothes, sports and extracurricular activities can become costly if you don’t have a budget. Stay firm, stick to your budget and don’t waiver, no matter how cute the outfit is or how much your child begs to play that sport or instrument.

Adhering to a back-to-school financial strategy helps parents reach their financial goals throughout the year.
This content was produced by our NeighborWorks America, a national housing network to which Community Housing Initiatives belongs.

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