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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

August 1, 2011
Stretch Your Back-to-School Budget

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As you and your family get ready for the new school year, find out how you can tackle back-to-school shopping without breaking the bank.

Transcript

It's that time of year–families are stocking up on back-to-school supplies and clothes. School shopping can be a significant financial strain, so here are some ideas for managing expenses:

First, figure out what you can afford without blowing your budget and racking up debt. Then list all anticipated expenses. Look at past years' bills and ask other parents for suggestions. Prioritize children's "needs" versus "wants" and share your decision-making process with them so they understand the tradeoffs that must be made. Remember you can spread out some purchases, like clothing, throughout the school year. You might also consider buying gently used clothes or swapping hand-me-downs with other parents.

Bottom line: A little planning will let you stretch your dollars while getting the school year off to a great start.


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