​How to Save Money When Back to School Shopping

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September 23, 2020

School is officially back in session – though it may look a bit different than usual. As we enter a new academic year, students and teachers are heading back to class, both online or in-person. Although back-to-school shopping may not look the same as previous years, both classroom settings require supplies. According to The Retail Council of Canada, the average Canadian is projected to spend $727 on back-to-school shopping this year.

To help limit overspending and keep you on budget, here are the ABC's of back-to-school savings:

Shop smart

Now that school is back in session, you might be finding yourself spending more money on supplies. It's easy to get carried away with shopping but it's extremely important to create a budget and stick to it. Although it might be tempting to purchase everything before classes start, you might want to hold off until you have a teacher-approved supply list to avoid overspending on unnecessary items. Taking advantage of seasonal sales and bargain hunting can also help you stay on budget and get more for less.

Here are some easy ways you can start saving:

  • Price match
  • Take inventory of supplies that you might have around the house
  • Buy school supplies from discount stores rather than large chains
  • Use coupons
  • Search for student discounts like SPC or Apple's education discount
  • Make homemade lunches instead of relying on cafeteria food

Buy refurbished

It's no secret that buying or upgrading electronics can leave a dent in your wallet. Experts suggest that buying refurbished is a great way to cut costs on gadgets. Many retailers offer refurbished computers and tablets from big brands at a discounted rate, along with a purchase warranty so you can shop with peace of mind. Like most technology, it's important to research before purchasing. Now that some households might have more than one child learning virtually, buying refurbished can save you hundreds of dollars, especially if you're buying multiple devices at once. If you're a teacher, buying refurbished allows you to buy good quality computers or laptops that can handle the demands of teaching in a virtual classroom with a budget-friendly price.

Pick the right phone plan

The telecommunications market in Canada is competitive and prices can vary depending on the type of service you're looking for, like brand recognition or phone type. Choosing a phone plan can be a bit daunting but there are plenty of options on both top and lower-tier plans. If you're looking for something cost-effective and easy to keep track of, a mobile share plan can suit your entire family on one mobile account. Family plans are budget-friendly and usually include unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited messaging, and shareable data. If you're looking for individual phone plans, some of the best deals are released just in time for back-to-school and include higher data packages and discounts on new smartphone devices. In terms of affordability, prepaid plans can help you avoid multi-year contracts and monthly fees. Most prepaid plans are also customizable and can be suited to fit your mobile device needs and budget.

Add safety products

Despite the shift to online learning, many Canadian students attending in-person classrooms are required to follow strict health and safety protocols. Unlike past years, parents and school staff will have to allocate a bit of their back-to-school budget for personal protective equipment like face masks, shields, hand sanitizer, and wipes. Although it might be hard to find discounted prices on some of these in-demand items like sanitizer, buying reusable masks can be a great way to reduce waste and save money.

Invest in the future

Here at Moya Financial, we pride ourselves in helping you save and grow your money. Our savings accounts offer higher interest rates than most major financial institutions to help you fulfill your money management goals and achieve your back-to-school budgeting goals. To learn more about our Savings Account and Daily Interest Savings Account, contact us today!