With #BackToSchool season upon us, Canadians have started to realize that their personal finances are about to change. Whether you’re a student about to pay tuition for the first time, or a parent about to help your child get ready for their next academic venture, money is something that we need to talk about. PC Financial has come up with 5 tips for savings that you can use right now to ensure you aren’t breaking the bank this year, and we are happy to share them with you all!
According to a recent survey by PC Financial, while 38 per cent of Canadian parents say they spend over $500 per child during the 2015 holiday season, the majority of parents anticipate spending that on the upcoming back-to-school season. The survey found that 6 in 10 parents agree that the growing role of tech in the classroom has increased the spend they need to account for during back-to-school shopping – those #BackToSchool items I recently featured can add up quickly these days!
However, before we get into the next few tips it is important to remember that too many families out there are missing out on potential savings by not shopping around for their utility providers. I know so many people who have managed to save money on their electricity bills by shopping around to find a more affordable power policy. Not sure where to begin? Start by reading useful information about some of the most popular energy providers such as these Cirro Energy reviews. From there, you can begin to plan your next steps and you can determine whether you could make a potential saving.
So, here are five top tips from author, parenting expert, and PC Financial Chief Family Advisor Kathy Buckworth:
Tip One: Stay on trend with affordable fashion: Back to school clothes can mean big bucks for parents, especially when kids want the latest trends for their first day back. Joe Fresh offers the latest looks for less and your kids may even get a few additional pieces for the same price you’d spend elsewhere. An added bonus is that The PC Financial World Elite MasterCard offers 3X the points toward future purchases!
Tip two: Come up with lunchbox ideas together: There’s no bigger waste than seeing the sandwich you made the night before come back in its container at the end of the day. Healthy options are important, but consider coming up with a few new lunch ideas that they’ll be excited to eat. Include your kids in the process and pick out a few recipes together so they feel invested in what they’ve prepared. We know from experience that having kids involved in the preparation process gets them excited and proud to eat something they helped to make – give it a try to see what we mean!
Tip three: Don’t double up on supplies: Determine what needs to go to school and what is best kept at home. Supplies like staplers, tape and special writing tools tend to get lost or carried away easily in a classroom setting, so keeping them for home use ensures your kids always have them when needed. Set out a space for homework and projects where these pieces can be easily stored and shared between all the students in your home. A cluttered desk can lead to a cluttered mind, so remember that staying on track with their homework can sometimes be as easy as tidying up their area together with a sweet reward when they do!
Tip four: Stay Tech-Savvy: Staying digitally connected with our kids is important, especially when they travel to and from school. There are tons of fancy plans out there, so it’s important to ensure you’re only paying for what you really need.
Tip five: Maximize value with points where you’re spending: Leveraging loyalty programs, like PC plus, when you’re buying your back-to-school necessities and every day essentials is a great way to maximize your spending.
With these five simple steps for students of any age and parents alike, we can assure you that this year’s #BackToSchool will be better than ever. Thank you to PC Financial for sharing them with us and we hope they inspire you to think smart this year.
For more information on how PC Financial can help you and your personal finance needs, make sure to head to www.pcfinancial.ca today.
To join in on the social media conversation around Back to School and simple saving tips, make sure to follow @PCFinancial on Twitter & ‘Like’ their Facebook Page. To share your tips for savings and getting #BackToSchool on a budget, make sure to use the #PCFSchoolEd hashtag – we can’t wait to see your photos and inspiration!
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Photos: PC Financial & Daniel Reyes