It’s the most wonderful time of year: back to school! With back to school often comes a sudden realisation that you need new things. Time to go shopping! Right?
Unfortunately this realisation doesn’t come from you. It comes from a billion dollar industry that tells you that the things you used only a few months ago are garbage and that you need brand new things, as soon as September hits. It can be hard not to be hit by all the ads that bombard you on TV, on the radio, on billboards, in magazines, and in stores. Suddenly everything you own can seem sub-par and you feel like you NEED a brand new wardrobe, along with a million other things. So how do you avoid falling prey to this call of consumerism and save a bit of money?
Check out our 5 tips below!
When you hear the siren calls of the stores, take stock of what you already have and what you actually need. Hopefully you don’t have to dig too far to find your school things, so take some time to look at the things that are used and done, and the things that can reused for another school year. Make a list as you go along, or if you were given a list by your school, check things off from there. That way you’ll know exactly what you have and what you absolutely need to get.
ASK OLDER SIBLINGS/COUSINS
If you have older siblings or cousins who have taken the same class or have used the same school supplies, ask them if they have anything lying around. Instead of going out and buying a whole bunch of stuff you might already have lying around your house, check out what your older siblings might have. They probably don’t need it anymore, and you can reuse it, which is a great way to recycle old materials!
BUY USED TEXTBOOKS OR RENT THEM
If you’re in college or university and need to buy loads of textbooks, you probably already know how high your textbook bill can become! Textbooks are crazy expensive and they aren’t something you can do without, since your readings all come from there. But instead of buying brand new textbooks for every single class, why not try to find used textbooks? There are some great services out there where students list textbooks for sale online, which you can check out. Many university and college bookstores also offer used textbooks as well, but they’re not as cheap as the ones you buy from students. There’s also the option of renting textbooks; it’s way cheaper since you don’t own the book and you just have to return them at the end of the term. It’s a great way to save money!
HAVE A CLOTHING SWAP
For many girls, clothes end up being the biggest expense during back-to-school time. It seems like none of your old clothes are good enough for the new school year, and there’s definitely a trend of wearing all new clothes the first day, if not the first week, of school.
Chances are your clothes are in perfectly good condition and it’s you that’s tired of them. If that’s the case, organize a clothing swap with your friends. It’s a great way change up your wardrobe without spending any money! Just like you have clothes in your closet that are perfectly wearable, your friends probably have clothes in their closets too that they’re sick of wearing. Pick out 3 to 5 pieces from your closet that you don’t want to wear anymore and that you don’t mind giving away and get swapping! Before you know it, you’ll have a (semi) new wardrobe to play around with!
DON’T BUY EXTA
Do you really need 10 binders when you only have 4 subjects? Even though they’re on sale?
So many of us get caught up in the excitement of sales. The deals seem too good to be true and we stockpile a lot of stuff, even though we don’t need it. We think we’ll need it eventually and end up wasting so much money. Instead, think carefully about what you need and how much you need of it. Make a list BEFORE you go shopping with the quantity next to it, so you know how much you need. And stick to that number, no matter how cheap the item is because there’s always a chance you won’t use all those 15 mechanical pencils and they’ll sit in your basement for the whole school year.
It can so hard to not run for the stores as soon as back-to-school season hits. Everything looks so shiny and new that it’s hard to resist. But if you’re trying to save a bit of money or if your parents have told you a small budget for supplies this year, these 5 tips are bound to help you out and prevent you from becoming a back-to-school shopaholic!
Hope you found this useful.