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Archive | Back 2 School

The ABCs of back-to-school budgeting 

 

(BPT) – It’s natural to pack all you can into those few precious summer months, but inevitably they’re gone before you know it. As summer vacations, sleepovers and outdoor grilling come to a close, it’s time to start thinking about going back to school.

You may be working to pay off summer vacation bills when you realize you need to budget and pay for your child’s school supplies, clothing and other related school expenses.

In a recent survey conducted by Coinstar, about half of U.S. parents with kids between ages five and 18 believe school expenses are increasing. Of those surveyed, 57 percent will create a back-to-school budget.

To ease rising school costs, here are five budgeting tips that will help you get more for your dollar:

Create a budget. One of the best ways to spend wisely is to create a budget. If you don’t already have one, open a new spreadsheet on your computer or get out a pen and paper. Consider all the potential back-to-school expenses and not just the obvious ones, such as school supplies and clothing. For example, you’ll want to factor in extracurricular or after-school activities, tutoring, special school trips and even lunch costs.

Collaborate with other parents. Consider joining parent groups, either through your school or community. These groups can offer a great support network to share ideas and information. They also serve as a fantastic resource for meeting parents who have items such as sports equipment their kids have outgrown or even musical instruments their children no longer play. This can lead to some serious money-saving deals.

Tap your coin jar. With rising school costs, the old saying that every penny counts really is true. You can literally put this into practice by collecting all the loose change around your house or tucked away in your coin jar and bringing it to a Coinstar kiosk. At the kiosk, you can turn your coins into cash by paying a small fee or put your change toward a no-fee eGift card to use at retailers.

Make a shopping list. Most schools provide a back-to-school list to help you plan and shop for your child. Use this as a starting point to make your own list and then stick to it! Retailers are set up to encourage impulse buys, but checking to see if something is or is not on your list is one of the most effective ways to avoid purchasing non-essential items and blowing your budget.

Embrace the three Rs. Your kids will probably learn about the three Rs in school: reduce, reuse, recycle. This is a great principle to keep in mind when getting them ready for school, especially for back-to-school clothes. Choosing quality basics such as a jacket, skirt, sweater or jeans that can be combined with other clothing in your child’s closet will reduce the need for quantity purchases. In addition, consignment stores and online retailers are very popular and offer gently used items that check the “reuse” box. And finally, don’t forget to take advantage of hand-me-downs, whether from older siblings or friends.

Going back to school should be an exciting time for you and your kids. With these five budgeting tips, you can help cut the financial stress out of the process and kick the school year off to a great start.

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Tween and teen fashion trends make back-to-school fun and affordable

BACK-Teen-and-tween-trends(ARA) – This year’s back-to-school clothing trends are all about expressing individual personality. Just as music allows the listener to express themselves, fashion is a way for tweens and teens to let their true personality shine through.

Actress and singer Selena Gomez has teamed up with Sears to share today’s hottest back-to-school teen trends. Here’s what the coolest kids in school will be wearing this year:

Trend 1 – Be inspired by music

“For me, music and fashion are two ways I really get to express myself,” says Gomez. Like many tweens and teens, the music she likes has become a huge influence on her taste in fashion. From rock to rap styles, this year will be the year of music-inspired clothing.

For example, skate-style outfits will feature bold colors and geometric patterns. Rocker styles are edgy and use dark or muted colors. Hip-hop styles have lots of flare and feature accessories such as cool hats and belts. Pop-styles tend to be trendy and mix and match lots of dressy elements with casual pieces.

Trend 2 – Accessorize!

Accessories are an easy and affordable way to transform any outfit and make it more unique and your own. For girls, this could include necklaces, bracelets, scarves and fun colored socks. For boys, watches, sunglasses and shoes top the list.

“Unique accessories are also great because they can add so much to an outfit and dress it up or create a totally different style,” says Gomez.

Trend 3 Mix and match for success

Get the most out of your back-to-school wardrobe. Consider new combinations, interesting patterns and mixing textures to find a style that is uniquely you.

Gomez suggests, “Try to mix up your wardrobe with a combination of trendy items as well those that are classic. For instance, everyone needs a great pair of skinny jeans that you can wear with anything, but look for unique pieces such as a cool jacket, vest or scarf that are perfect for back-to-school this year and really dress up your look.”

Trend 4 – Make your style your own

The golden rule of tween and teen fashion this year is to make your style all about you. “It’s so important for everyone, especially tweens and teens, to have their own sense of style. Even if that style is constantly changing, it’s an outlet for us to tell the world who we are and what we like,” says Gomez.

She suggests trying new things and creating a different look each day. The key is to find a style that gives you the confidence to walk in a room and feel really good about yourself. “What’s great is that Sears has all the top fashions to choose from and since it’s so affordable, you can always get the hottest new items and try a variety of looks,” says Gomez.

Do you have a fashion sense that stands out? Is music part of your unique personality? Visit www.Arrivelounge.com to view all the hot new fashion trends and check out the Sears Air Band Casting Call. You’ll also have a chance to help style the band, pick a name, design a logo and more. The winner will get great prizes like a Sears back-to-school wardrobe.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union

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