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It’s back to school season! Here are ways to financially prepare for it.

Summer is beginning to wind down, and with that comes some people’s favorite (and in some cases, least favorite) time of year: back to school season. Parents and students alike often rush to the stores to buy new supplies for the upcoming academic year, and the expenses can add up and create financial stress. Although, back to school sales can be great to save, they also use these sales tactics to get you to buy things that are not necessary. Here are some tips to help you shop for school smarter.

Take Inventory

First thing’s first: you should always be taking an inventory of what you already have vs. what you need to purchase. Get organized and set a budget. You may not recall as you are rushing to get to the stores, but some supplies, like notebooks, pens, etc., might still be in your current inventory from last year’s sales. If that’s case, there may not be a need to go out and buy all of those items you initially thought you needed. If you check your inventory, you’ll find excess supplies you’ve stored away. Don’t buy more than you need.  

Be Wary of BOGO Sales

In the same token as above, BOGO (buy one, get one) are always enticing. If you need multiple of a specific item, sales like these will absolutely save you money. However, there may be some of these sales that are for supplies that you might only need one of. You may figure to get the second one at half off, but you’ll eventually never use it. This is up to your judgement, as you might need that item years down the road, but you may want to reconsider if you really need it or not. 

Compare All Options and Prices

There is a plethora of retailers at your disposal to partake in your back-to-school shopping. It’s always a good idea to take a step back and look at all their deals and offerings to pick and choose where to buy specific things. For example, Amazon may have a steeply discounted price on backpacks, and Target may have a BOGO sale on highlighters. Rather than buying everything you need at one place, spread your shopping around to ensure you’re getting the best deals possible.

Splurge or Skimp When Necessary

For specific items, it may be a better idea to splurge than skip out on the least expensive version, just because it may cost you more in the long run. Big ticket products, like laptops, are a good example of this. While a cheaper device might be more enticing, the chances are the quality of it may not be good enough for the day-to-day activities you’ll be using it for, and you may end up having to replace it in the middle of the school year. Do your research on devices and determine what your top three needs would be.  Search for what you need, and don’t skimp on the quality. That doesn’t mean, top of the line newest and most expensive items. Getting something that is of higher quality will last you longer and will help you save time and money in the long run.

For more information about Amerant Bank or to reach a financial expert on our team, visit amerantbank.com.

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