August 16, 2016 Leave a comment
Now that students have soaked up the summer sun, it’s time to dust off the books and head back to school.
A new school year brings with it change as well as many new challenges. Often these challenges can cause many parents financial stress. From the increasing costs of school supplies, clothing, athletics, and meals, many families find their budgets becoming a little tighter during the academic year. However, there are ways to save money with proper planning.
When it comes to school lunches the amount parents spend can vary greatly. Fortunately in our local area, many schools offer a free lunch program. However, if your child’s school does not have such program in place or if you have a picky eater you can still find ways to cut costs. Budgeting is key when making school lunches. Advance planning is also helpful. By knowing about how much lunch costs will be you can create menus early. Take advantage of coupons and deals when grocery shopping. In addition, stock your pantry with lunch items that have a long shelf life so you will be set for weeks to come. Involve your child in the planning of meals as well. Not only do they learn a financial lesson on budgeting and costs, but it also assures that the food you pack won’t go to waste.
School supplies are another costly back to school expense. If you missed out on your state’s tax free holiday or if your state did not have such event, there are still ways you can save money. With many retailers having rolled out their school supplies mid-summer, now is the time to check for sales. Once your child begins classes be sure to look through their school provided items. If you purchased items that the school also provided, either return your items or put them aside for next school year. In addition, many schools gladly accept donations of school supplies.
If you still haven’t finished your back to school clothes shopping, check area retailers for seasonal sales. Generally as late fall/winter clothing are already front and center on the racks in most stores, many retailers often have their summer/early fall clothing prices slashed. Taking advantage of off-season sales can make a huge difference on your wallet. Keep this in mind as you shop throughout the school year as well. Also, take advantage of your local consignment shops. Many consignment shops offer fashionable clothing for kids at a significantly lower price. Purchasing clothing at consignment shop prices also can be the perfect opportunity for parents who find themselves buying more kids clothing than usual due to their child’s ongoing growth spurts. In addition, many consignment shops will offer credit in exchange for gently used clothes.
Locally, Cabell County students returned to school last week. Other area schools are scheduled to start on the following dates:
- Jackson City Schools – Wednesday, August 17
- Wellston Local Schools – Wednesday, August 17
- Gallia County Schools – Wednesday, August 17
- Mason County Schools – Thursday, August 18
- Oak Hill Union Local Schools – Monday, August 22
- Gallipolis City Schools – Tuesday, August 23
- Meigs Local Schools – Wednesday, August 24
- Western Local Schools – Wednesday, August 24
- Southern Local Schools – Wednesday, August 24
- Waverly City Schools – Thursday, August 25
- Eastern Local Schools (Pike) – Thursday, August 25
- Eastern Local Schools (Meigs) –Thursday, August 25
Ohio Valley Bank offers best wishes for another great school year. For information on OVB’s financial literacy programs, visit www.ovbc.com or e-mail OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush at firstname.lastname@example.org.