Avoid the Back-to-School Financial Blues - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Avoid the Back-to-School Financial Blues

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ATLANTA -

Financial consultant Mark Lloyd stopped by Good Day Atlanta to offer a couple of tips that may help prevent parents from overextending themselves while shopping for the upcoming school year.

While it seems that school just ended, our children’s summer vacation will be over before you know it. The start to a new school year is just around the corner and some smart planning can avoid the back to school financial blues. Here’s a couple of quick pointers to make the transition as seamless as possible.

         Set aside money for the first day outfit. The start to a new year typically means a new outfit or two. Start shopping now so you get the best deal. Watch out for back-to-school pricing as sometimes that isnt always your best bet. Also, stick to your budget as is easy to go overboard getting the little ones all dolled-up for the first day.

         Get those school supplies. Nothing is more stressful than running to the store for a last-minute supply the Sunday before the first day. We are natural procrastinators.  Buy those supplies early and check supplies online. Just watch out for high shipping charges. Be sure to check the warehouse clubs too and dont forget that Georgias tax-free weekend is August 1st & 2nd for qualifying items. That can make a big difference, especially on larger ticket items such as computers and tablets.

         Define essential items. Its easy to get over-zealous in buying educational supplies and your wallet can take a hit. Making a list of whats needed will ensure your little ones get what they need without costing you an arm and a leg. In case you are unsure of what they need, the list of essential items is also usually posted by school and grade in stores throughout the city.

         Set controls on the tablets. iPads and other tablet devices are quickly becoming a part of the normal school day. Make sure to set a passcode so the information cannot be accessed if its stolen and setup a remote find feature, such as Apples Find My iPhone, if available. Also, set parental controls and a different password for all spending charges to avoid getting the huge bill for Candy Crush and other games.

         Begin to set money aside for college.  Back-to-school might some day mean back to college. Start saving a little now to pay big dividends later when those college tuition bills come due. 529s are a popular way to save for college tax efficiently. Quick savings tip. Having your college student buy their books electronically, as oppose to a hard copy, can save you upwards of 50%. Its also easier come test time to review their notes and highlights.

Enjoy the start to those school days, school days, dear old golden rule days.
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