NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Back to School Budgets

Back to School Budgets


            The start of the new school year is just around a few weeks ahead.  Whether you have one child or several children, this time of year can put a dent in your bank account but with a little extra planning, you can save yourself some money with the following tips:


  • Set a back-to-school budget - Determine how much you can spend and stick to your budget.

  • Start shopping early - Taking the time to comparison shop can help you save. Many stores already are starting to have back-to-school sales. If you shop early, you have a chance of beating the crowds and having a much more relaxing shopping experience.
  • Shop sales - This time of year, most retail stores offer back-to-school specials. School supplies, clothing and shoes typically are on sale. Take advantage of these sales to get the biggest bang for your buck.
  • Check what you already have - Just because a new school year is about to start doesn’t mean everything has to be new. If your child’s clothing or shoes still fit and are in good shape, buying many new items does not make sense. Chances are, your child will outgrow the clothes and shoes during the upcoming year and you will need to purchase more down the road. The same applies to backpacks, which can be the most expensive school supply you have to buy.
  • Avoid purchasing buy unnecessary items - Stick to the school supply list. Buying extra items may seem like a good idea at the time, but if items are not on the list, the children likely will not use them. Also, the 15-cent notebooks are just as good as those that cost much more just because of a cute cover.
  • Scout second-hand-stores - Sports can be a major expense for youth as the necessary equipment costs a lot of money. Many second-hand sporting goods stores offer well-maintained equipment for a fraction of the price of new gear.
  • Stock up now - School supplies are very inexpensive this time of year. If your budget allows, stock up on items your child or children may run out of during the school year (pencils, crayons, markers, etc.).


            Taking a little time to plan can make a big difference. For more resources on setting financial goals and creating a budget, visit the NDSU Extension Personal and Family Finance webpage at www.ag.ndsu.edu/money.

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