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Back-to-School Savings: Strategies for Smart Parental Spending

Parents are bracing themselves for a notable uptick in expenses as the back-to-school season approaches. According to the National Retail Federation, school supply expenditures are projected to escalate, potentially hitting a staggering $41.5 billion. Notably, the cost of major items has surged compared to the previous year, casting a shadow on family budgets. The average household could see their expenses rise to about $890, which is $25 more than last year—a surge attributed to the persistent influence of inflation on the economy.

Amidst these financial challenges, FOX Business has consulted money experts to decipher ways of optimizing back-to-school budgets, ensuring a judicious approach to spending.

Resourceful Strategies to Navigate the Expenses

A prudent initial step involves assessing existing resources before splurging on new ones. Revisiting last year’s school supplies can yield reusable items, while a simple wash could refresh the trusty backpack. Trae Bodge, an astute shopping authority from, advises parents to have their kids try on school clothing to distinguish between fitted and outgrown garments.

Navigating the Shopping Sphere

Unlocking value while shopping necessitates a strategic outlook. Bodge recommends a competitive approach driven by coupons and historical price comparisons. Introducing PayPal Honey—a mobile and desktop extension—this dynamic tool scans and tests the most effective coupons, while its historical pricing feature safeguards shoppers against inflated prices. The integration of the PayPal Honey Droplist ensures instant alerts on price reductions and sales, creating an informed shopping experience.

Thrifty Alternatives and Financial Flexibility

For families on a tight budget, Bodge suggests tapping into local resources, such as loaned laptops from schools and subsidized school supply packs. Moreover, state tax-free holidays offer an opportunity to save significantly on purchases, with the caveat of varying regulations across states.

To balance urgency and budget constraints, applications like PayPal Pay Later provide the freedom to divide payments over an extended period, delivering financial flexibility. Bodge emphasizes its efficacy in spreading payments over weeks or months, catering to individual preferences.

Tailoring Spending Strategies

Selecting a credit card that aligns with back-to-school needs is key. For instance, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers 0% APR for new users and allows 3% cash back in six designated categories. By adjusting categories based on monthly priorities, parents can maximize savings and adapt to evolving financial objectives.

Student-Centric Savings

Students can unlock exclusive benefits by exploring retailer promotions and school discounts. Jason Gaughan of Bank of America encourages students to check both retailers’ websites and school portals for exclusive deals before making purchases. Additionally, students should inquire about potential student discounts at the checkout counter.

Loyalty Pays Off

Loyalty programs offered by retailers hold the promise of future savings and discounts. These programs are designed to reward customers for their ongoing support, ensuring that loyalty translates into tangible financial benefits.

As the back-to-school season looms, parents can arm themselves with these insightful strategies to navigate the financial demands with confidence, ensuring that each expenditure is both deliberate and rewarding.

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