Savvy Spending for Students | McIntosh & Associates, Inc.

Whether you are sending your Kindergartner or College student off to their first day in the “real world”, it takes some strategy to juggle the big shopping list of back-to-school needs. It can quickly add up but the good news is if you shop smart, you can really save a lot! Mindy McIntosh talks with Michigan’s WJRT about how to play the money game and save.

Elementary School: Scope Out the Supply
Your desk drawers, kitchen and closets may hold hidden treasures that can save you money when planning your list. Not everything needs to be brand new! Hit up family, friends and neighbors to see what they’re willing to discard and donate to a student on a budget.

Middle School: Get the Kids Involved
Set limits with your kids, and speak with them about money-based values. If your kids want supplies with their favorite characters, show them how much more they’ll cost than the generic ones. And here’s some great motivation: let them keep any cash they don’t spend to a certain amount.

High School: Follow Your Favorite Stores
High schoolers have certain brands they want, and you can look for deals at your local shopping outlets. Some may offer back to school discounts or student discounts. Many companies send their loyal customers coupon links and advance notices of sales, especially around back-to-school season.

College: Avoid Penalties
Before you child heads off to college, remind them to never spend more than is in their bank account. In the age of smartphones, it is easy to set up low-balance text alerts to avoid over-drafting and getting hit with an insufficient funds fee. Students should also choose a bank that caps fees, or doesn’t charge you in the first place. The bank on campus might be the most convenient, but doing research on other banking options could save you a pretty penny.

Click here for our back-to-school budget worksheet.

More great tips here.

How and when to teach kids about money.