Dave Ramsey’s Top 6 Tips for Affordable Back-to-School Shopping

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If you have kids going to school soon, you need to read these tips.

Key points

  • Back to school can be expensive for parents because children need a lot of things.
  • There are ways to save money on back-to-school shopping.
  • Dave Ramsey offered some important tips, including prioritizing and strategic shopping.

The start of a new school year can be an exciting time for parents and children. It can also be an expensive time, as children tend to need a lot of things to prepare for a return to school.

The good news is that you can often save money on back-to-school shopping. Financial expert Dave Ramsey has offered a number of suggestions to help you achieve this. Here are six of his top tips that you might want to consider following.

1. Decide on your priorities

Ramsey’s best advice is to make sure you prioritize what you’re actually spending money on rather than just buying everything you or your child thinks they need.

“Create a list of needs and rank them from most urgent to least urgent”, Ramsey Solutions blog reads. “A few new shirts and a pair of shoes might be at the top of the list and that new iPad for homework might be at the bottom.”

Ramsey thinks this is crucial because if you can’t afford all the back-to-school purchases you want, you can invest your money in the essentials first and put the others off until later. If you’re not prioritizing and you’re just starting to buy, you might otherwise end up charging your credit cards for something vital because you’ve spent all your money on things that weren’t as necessary.

2. Check what you already have

Ramsey also recommends taking stock of your current supplies — including clothes your kids already own and any second-hand clothes available — before you start shopping for things. He cautions that it can take time to sort through everything and see what can be repurposed and what you really need to buy, but it’s worth the time to save money.

3. Set a budget

Since Ramsey is a big proponent of budgeting to solve many financial problems, it’s probably no surprise that he advocates incorporating back-to-school shopping into your budgeting process.

He suggests creating two separate categories in your budget: a line for one-time purchases you need to make at the start of the school year, and another for ongoing expenses you’ll pay throughout the year, such as school fees. of clubs.

By budgeting for these things, you will have “permission to spend” and you will not end up in debt because you face unexpected school expenses.

4. Don’t all shop at once

Ramsey thinks it can be easier to spread out your shopping rather than rushing to buy everything you need at the start of the school year.

“Buy a little this month, buy a little tomorrow,” he suggested. “Don’t blow the budget in August. Not only is it a risky financial move, but your kid is also likely to gain an extra inch by October. Then he’ll be back in the racks.”

5. Be strategic about where you shop

Ramsey went beyond advice on when to shop and also suggested where to go. Specifically, he thinks the dollar store is a great place to buy lots of back-to-school items like planners, pens, and bulletin boards.

6. Be aware that the cheapest item is not always the best

Finally, perhaps Ramsey’s most important advice is to not confuse a low price with the best deal.

“An item can be cheap in more ways than one: cost and quality,” he said. “If something is cheap, it can be good value for money. But if something is poor quality, it’s not worth your money. Especially if you have to replace it again in a few months.”

When buying items that your child will use every day, you want them to be durable, high quality, and built to last. While that might mean a little more upfront budgeting and a little more careful shopping to find the right product, it’s well worth it.

By following these tips, we hope your back-to-school shopping experience will be a success that won’t blow your budget.

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