Back to school is always an expensive time and it’s never too early to start planning. Big shopping trips can quickly add up and get you into trouble with your credit card company. The median credit card debt of someone who files for bankruptcy is $13,000. That may seem like a lot, but expenses add up quickly, especially when they come as a surprise or there’s nothing you can do to stop them. Any amount of credit card debt can be crippling if you face a sudden loss of income. If you or your partner lost their job or were injured and couldn’t work, how long could you keep up with your mortgage, car payments, bills, and credit card payments?
Back to school shopping is getting more expensive all the time. The average back-to-school expenditure for households with children in grades K-12 was $688. That number could also be as high as $1,000 per child in middle school, sometimes because of schools requiring expensive uniform apparel or electronics. On top of that, a study done by Capital One shows that 21% of parents actually spend more on back to school shopping than they set aside in savings for college.
Credit card debt is one of the leading causes of insolvency in Ontario. It can be resolved either through bankruptcy or a consumer proposal in Ontario, depending on the situation. When debt collectors start calling your home or your office, it’s time to seek help from a bankruptcy trustee, now known as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Ontario. In the Greater Toronto Area, David Sklar & Associates is one bankruptcy trustee firm that can advise you on your next course of action if you are already in over your head in debt. Collection calls, wage garnishments, and unpaid bills are all signs that you’re in financial danger. But as bankruptcy trustees David Sklar & Associates advise, the best way out of debt is avoiding it altogether.
That means cutting down expenses. When it comes to back-to-school shopping, there are plenty of ways to save money:
1. Leave the Kids at Home
Leave the kids at home with your partner or a family member if you can. It’s easier to save without having them begging you to buy things as you walk down the aisles. Find out what they want by going online beforehand.
2. Teach Kids About Budgeting
Financial literacy is an increasingly important part of raising children and something they’re not often taught in school. Back-to-school shopping is a great way to teach older kids about budgeting. Parents have long been taught to hide how much money they have from their kids. Instead, decide exactly how much money you have to spend and tell your kids what that limit is. Then let them make their own decisions about supplies, apparel, and electronics. Just go over their decisions to make sure they have everything. You won’t just save money, you’ll be teaching your kids a valuable lesson in finance.
3. Set Aside Extra for Surprises
If there’s extra room in your budget, set it aside instead of splurging on something extra for the kids. Before you know it, they’ll be coming to you for field trip fees or costs for other activities.
Saving on back-to-school shopping is a great way to keep your credit card debt down.