It’s back to school. Parents are sending their students off with new school supplies, driving them to activities, and helping out with homework. When new schedules start, new expenses usually follow closely. Start this school year off by shaving down costs with a few simple tips from Motherboard Moms. These tips are great to share with other parents, college students, and kids of any age so they can start learning about personal money management now:
- Coupons: According to Red Plum, a coupon site, dedicating only 20 minutes a week to finding coupons can save you an easy $100 a month. College students can clip out coupons with their friends and parents can have their kids help search through mail and online.
- Reward Cards: For people who reliably pay off their credit card debts every month and can practice controlled spending with plastic, a reward card might be for you. Your spending reward cards can help you earn points to travel or bonuses at your favorite stores.
- Kid night. Find out what restaurants near you have kids-eat-free days or discounted deals. Schedule family nights out on days where you can get a deal.
- Library. Are you still renting movies and buying books? Don’t let money get in the way of keeping a voracious reader content in your family. Take a weekly trip to the library to check out movies and books. If you’re heading to college, see which textbooks you can checkout from the library before purchasing them.
- Unplug appliances. Did you know some appliances have what’s called “standby power”? Televisions, computers, printers, VCRs, DVRs and power tools are still using energy once you turn them off and leave home. In the average home, family’s have 40 appliances plugged in which adds up to between 5 and 10 percent of the bill. In the dorms, start getting in the habit of unplugging your appliances. When you move into your own place you’ll see how fast the little things add up.
- Save. Round your expenses up and deposits down in your check register. One family who tried it liked it so much they went beyond rounding pennies and started rounding deposits from $1,363 to $1,300. Eventually they went from having overdrawn accounts to saving $200 a month.
How is your family cutting costs this school year? What thrifty tips do you have for students?
Reese, Diana. “20 Sneaky Ways to Save.” Better Homes and Gardens. Accessed on August 18, 2011. <http://www.bhg.com/health-family/finances/tips/20-sneaky-ways-to-save/?sssdmh=dm17.544759&esrc=nwlmb081711&email=2618622266#page=20>