Back-to-school shopping is a big deal for you and your kids. Each new year marks a whole new season for learning, growing, and exploring. But, it also usually means a whole new season of style for the kids at school. Keeping up with peer pressure, school work, extracurricular activities, and a budding social life is enough squeeze for your kids. And feeling like they have to stay up to date with their wardrobe and style is an added dimension to fitting in and feeling cool. Shopping for back-to-school is super exciting but can also be expensive. You want them to feel stylish and fit in, but also, you don't want to break the bank. Here are some tips on keeping your kids in style but on a budget this school year.
Sales are one of the best ways to save money on back-to-school shopping. You can get all the stylish new looks for your kids and be kind to your wallet. Sometimes finding the sales entails a little patience. Buy a few outfits before the first week of school and then wait a month to buy the rest when the clothes go on sale to clear them out for winter. Reserving some budget will allow your kids to have some fresh clothes for back-to-school, but then have more opportunity to pick what they want to wear after they see the trends all their friends are wearing. Before school begins, focus on getting the basics and a few stylish outfits to begin the new year. Summer sales are also a good time to buy stylish clothes for your kids. Plan ahead to hit the summer sales in the months before back-to-school. You should be able to get some basic summery pieces for your kids, such as kids' T-shirts and shorts. Buying stylish clothes for the kids during sales is one of the best ways to dress them well on a budget.
If your kids wear uniforms to school, it makes back-to-school shopping quite a bit easier. However, buying new uniforms every year can also add up quite quickly. Many schools have a uniform exchange program where you can save money while still dressing your kids properly for school. Gather all your gently worn uniforms, and head over to the back-to-school uniform exchange. You can then swap your kids' old uniforms for their current sizes. Not only can you get uniforms at these exchanges, but you can also get other basics for your kids, such as girls' cardigan sweaters and boys' polo shirts. You could be walking away with a whole new wardrobe for your kids and save a lot of money that could go to school supplies or other clothing.
Similar to looking for sales, buying off-season is a great way to save on stylish clothes for your kids. For example, don’t wait until prom season to buy a prom dress! Earlier in the year, buy a dress for your daughter to wear to the prom so you can get a discounted or sale price instead of a full price. Similarly, buy winter sports gear in the summer. When you buy things off-season, you can usually expect to get a better price.
It sounds scary, but sometimes letting your kids do the shopping works really well. Your kids get the clothes they need, they learn valuable lessons such as budgeting and decision-making, and you get to sit back and relax. Make a budget and take out the decided amount of cash your kids are going to use to buy their clothing. Also, sit down with them and discuss what they need and what they should be looking for, such as a couple of pairs of kids' jeans, some shirts, sweaters, or whatever else they may need for school. Make a list, set the budget, and sit back to let the kids shop. If they come back with something unpractical, you can always exchange or return it, but the lesson is still there. This is also an effective way to make a clear budget for yourself and stick to it.
You don’t have to do all your back-to-school shopping in one go. Spacing out back-to-school shopping will often save you money or at least will help you stick to a monthly budget for better cash flow. This is also great because you can get your kids a few stylish outfits and back-to-school uniform polo shirts and then wait to buy more until the sales begin and your kids have a better idea of what their personal style is looking like this year. Also, kids tend to grow really fast! What fits them in September might not fit them in December. When you space out your shopping, you don’t have to waste money on clothes that won’t fit in a couple of months. Spacing out shopping is also a great way to take advantage of sales as they come up, so you don’t have to pay full price.
Buying used may not sound so glamorous to your kids, but you can often find lightly worn and stylish clothing at heavily discounted prices. Also, explain to your kids that when you buy used clothing, you’re not just saving money, but you’re also reducing your consumption and reusing items instead of buying new ones. This can be a perfect opportunity to talk about living more sustainably, being environmentally conscious, and focusing on the importance of reusing and recycling. Always save clothes that one kid has grown out of for the next kid, so you don’t have to buy everything again! You can also encourage your kids to give away the clothes that no longer fit them to teach them that generously helping others is a positive thing.
Keeping your kids in style for school doesn’t have to break the bank. With these few tips, you can encourage them to wear what they feel best while still sticking to a budget.