We all know the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. However, one big season not on the calendar that might affect your life more than the others is the Back to School season!
Regardless of whether you’re preparing for your first stay in a dorm, or getting your kids ready for their latest school adventure, this season can be one that hits your wallet hard. But this doesn’t have to be the case!
Here’s our top three financial pieces of advice to get into the classroom (any classroom!) without breaking the bank.
1. For the college students: Learn to love your kitchen!
College is usually the first time outside the family home for young adults, and it can be quite a shock to adjust. One of the biggest ways to make a difference to your bottom line is by learning how to maximize your food and supplies budget early. Get a travel mug and brew your own coffee in your dorm instead of stopping by that coffee shop on the way in! Same goes for lunches; having healthier food ready to grab-and-go can save time and dollars both. Ditch the car and your associated costs, and use public transportation if possible. Post-secondary campuses are often well-connected to city transit routes! Lastly, ensure that you research your textbooks options; there are tons of resources to help you buy used or digital textbooks instead of purchasing all new.
2. For the K-12 set: Check your sales and reduce, reuse and recycle!
Identify your core supply needs, and look at a variety of options in different stores. Comparison shopping helps ensure you’re getting the best deals possible! Check flyers — lots of supply stores will have back-to-school specials on throughout August — and see what is on sale when and at what store. Lots of places like Walmart, Superstore, and others also offer an option to shop online with in store pick up as well. And don’t forget to recycle! Look at what supplies you still have from last year, and determine what can be salvaged. Emptying out binders to use for another year or two is a great way to maximize the life of your supplies. Pencil cases often can go multiple school seasons before needing to be replaced, as well as backpacks and other soft supplies.
3. Dollars and cents sense for all: TSFAs and smart banking
And of course, having an account that offers great interest rates and no fees is a great start too! Contact one of our Motive agents to learn more about our TSFA and no-fee chequing and savings accounts to help manage your money for back to school and beyond.