Back-to-School shopping tips

Shopping season is here and more people than ever are expected to shop for supplies, both in-person and online.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Shopping season is here and more people than ever are expected to shop for supplies, both in-person and online.

Financial professional, Tim Kulhanek, from Stonebridge Insurance and Wealth Management has some tips on how to head back to school without breaking the bank.

Why are we expecting this spending rush?

  • After a tough last year, people are ready to spend again, especially with those stimulus dollars in their pockets
  • Sales in the U.S. are expected to grow 6.7% from 2019 and 5.5% from 2020
  • This year’s spending will also be a big factor in consumer confidence as we return to our new normal

What supplies are breaking the bank this year?

New clothes

  • Kids and parents are getting ready to fill up their closets again after a year of Zoom classes and meetings
  • Sales on clothes are expected to rise about 78% compared to last year and 11% compared to 2019
  • If they want trendier or more expensive clothes, they can help pay the difference by doing extra chores around the house

The latest gadgets

  • Spending on electronics is expected to rise 13% this year compared to last
  • Before making a big purchase, make a plan to pay it off
  • Sometimes the biggest expense isn’t the purchase itself, it is the interest you accrue from using a credit card
  • Instead, pay in cash if you can or ask about a payment plan. A payment plan can bring down the upfront cost and allow you to slowly pay it back over time

Classroom extras

  • Your supply list from your school will have required supplies as well as a 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 instead consider giving these items at the holidays

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

Stick to a Spending Plan

  • One of the best ways to stay on track is by making a spending plan. Decide what you’ll buy and how much you’ll spend, and take your list with you when you go shopping so you stick with it
  • You can find a back-to-school budget calculator on Kulhanek’s website,

Look to the Future

  • Overspending on back-t0-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’ education and extracurricular activities
  • While helping a child pay for college might seem like a nice gesture, don’t let it jeopardize your retirement
Categories: Money