Tips to Avoid Back-to-School Budget Busters

Local Financial Professional Barry Bigelow Offers Tips to Back-to-School Shopping

DULUTH, Minn. – Pens, pencils and notebooks are just the tip of the icebery for families stocking up on back-to-school supplies.

Every year, surprise budget busters catch shoppers off guard and cost them cash.

That’s why local financial professional Barry Bigelow with Great Waters Financial is offering tips to save on your back-to-school buys.

1. Technology
• Parents are shelling out for computers, tablets, and calculators, which is driving up the price of back to school shopping.
• Before making a big purchase, you need a plan to pay it off.
• Sometimes the biggest expense isn’t your purchase, but the interest you pay when you put it on a credit card.
• Pay in cash if you can, or ask about a payment plan. Using a payment plan can bring down the upfront cost and you can slowly pay back the rest over time.
• Be sure to ask if interest will be charged on your payment plan.

2. Classroom Extras
• Your supply list from your school will have required supplies and also a wish list of shared classroom supplies, things like extra cleaning wipes or boxes of tissues.
• Don’t feel like you have to get these extras, and especially don’t feel like you have to get them right away.
• Parents are often struggling to think of gifts for teachers, so make a basket of these products for the holidays.
• The teacher will appreciate it more than another “World’s Best Teacher” mug!

3. Clothes and Shoes
• Families will spend more on clothes than anything else this back-to-school season.
• This is a good time to teach kids a lesson about working for the things you want.
• If they want trendier or more expensive options, they can chip in to pay the difference by picking up extra chores around the house, like cleaning or mowing the lawn.

What else should families consider during back-to-school season?

Build a Budget
• One of the best ways to stay on track is by filling out a budget worksheet.
• Decide what you’ll buy and how much you’ll spend, and take your worksheet with you when you go shopping so you stick with it.
• You can download a back-to-school budget worksheet on my website,

Look at the Big Picture
• Overspending on back to school shopping may not seem like a big deal, but it’s important to look at the big picture when it comes to your finances.
• How are you doing on your long-term financial goals like paying down debt, building an emergency fund and saving for retirement?
• Many parents are putting off these goals to pay for their kids’ educations and extracurricular activities.
• But it’s important to prioritize your retirement while you still have time on your side.


Categories: Business, Community, Education, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News