Costs are increasing due to inflation
Inflation means that prices are going up which decreases the buying power of your dollar. Katherine Bullen, Senior Director with The National Retail Federation says, "families with kids in elementary through high school are expecting to spend around $684 on average, that's about $15 more than last year."
Keeping your money in a bank may seem harder than previous years due to inflation. You might even have to dig into your savings or put those pesky costs on a credit card. When you're unsure of the costs the best first step is to create a budget. Below I will show the manual way to create this budget, but you can also do it automatically inside of budget envelopes with the Mooch app.
Creating a budget for back to school
Take a sheet of paper and make 2 sections for gear and supplies. Gear is anything like clothes, shoes, backpack, lunch bags that your student will need when going back to school. Supplies will be notebooks, pens/pencils, folders, textbooks, and so on. These are things where you can save by buying in bulk.
After making your 2 sections for gear and supplies write down 3-5 things you absolutely need to pay for when back to school. Here's an example shopping list that you can use:
Calculate the total
Your goal is to then try to stick to this budget or spend even less than you planned. This can be fun challenge for the family! You can even get the kids involved when creating this budget. If this seems like a lot of work you can create this budget with one of the best free financial planning apps Mooch.
Compare your budget vs actual spending
The final option you can take is split the page in half with 'budget" on the left and "actual" on the right so you can compare how close you were to your budget plan. If you want a visual example here's a TikTok video I made on it.
Keep this in mind...
Nobody is totally immune to inflation. The best tool in your arsenal is having a budget and sticking to it. Be mindful of your spending habits try not to take on unnecessary debt or tap into your emergency fund. Remember that inflation won't last forever, you got this!