(TORONTO, ON) – Things were much easier when all you needed for school was a piece of chalk and some slate. Back then, parents weren’t goaded into spending hundreds of dollars on school supplies for their children but, times have changed.
A recent report from the website RetailMeNot.ca discovered the financial burden of being Canadian parents during the back-to-school shopping season –
- Most parents will spend over $200 on school supplies for their children
- 12% of parents plan to spend over $400
These numbers are not a surprise to Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, who says back-to-school shopping is a major expense for parents –
“Although my former English teachers may cringe at this sentence – back-to-school shopping ain’t cheap!” says Schwartz. “School supplies are a source of great angst for parents. There’s a lot of pressure to make your kids happy, but also a lot of stress about trying to stick to a budget. I’ve found that both goals can be reached by shopping smart and involving your children in the process.”
Consolidated Credit offers Canadian parents the following tips to save on back to school shopping:
- Gather up unused supplies from last year – If you look hard enough, you will probably find a large stash of school supplies somewhere in your home. Unused pencils, crayons and rulers are hidden away in various drawers and cupboards just waiting to be used. Rescue these supplies from a life of neglect and give them to your child. Remember, a pencil found is a dollar earned!
- For the kids, by the kids – If you’ve been struggling to teach your kids about money, now is the perfect time. Set up your young ones with some fake money and a budget and have them scour back-to-school flyers for good deals. They’ll get to make the decision on what to buy and will learn about money in the process.
- Use the internet – There’s no excuse for not searching online for better deals than what you can find in the store. Taking the time to compare prices and clip coupons will save you money. If you think this sounds like a chore, just think of the savings as a salary.
- Kids can pay too – If you’ve got a teenager at home who is demanding the latest gadget or fashions, the financial burden doesn’t always have to fall on the parents. Let you child know that they can take some of their allowance or savings and put it towards the item they so desperately want. After making this offer, you may find that that item isn’t as ‘must have’ as it once was.
- Strength in numbers – If everybody is back-to-school shopping, why are you doing it alone? Call up your friends and neighbours who have children of similar ages and go together on a group buy. You’ll get the price benefits of buying in bulk without the annoyance of having to store a bunch of extra supplies.
“Summer is almost over and school will soon be back in session,” says Schwartz. “Sending your kids back to school well-equipped to do their best is the goal of every parent. But, that goal doesn’t have to be overly expensive. Looking for savings and shopping smart is the best way to get an A+ on your back-to-school shopping report card!”
About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.: Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.
For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:
Jacob MacDonald, Public Relations Coordinator, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.
T: 416-915-7283 ext.1079