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How to Avoid Debt and Find a Deal

Ok parents, it’s time to gear up. Back-to-school shopping is underway, and with last year’s anticipated cost per household being around $800, you could use some tips and tricks to avoid debt this year.

This podcast tackles back-to-school issues and the debt they bring. We show you four ways to beat the debt (and the stress!) by creating a spending plan, using strategies to avoid overspending, finding money saving options, and including your kids in the decisions.

One of the best strategies to avoid back-to-school debt is to start early. July is an ideal time to start searching for deals and making purchases to help spread out the costs and avoid debt.

Jayson Stoppel, Licensed Insolvency Trustee in our Thunder Bay office, offers some smart savings tip in the podcast that are worth checking out.

Here are a few additional strategies for saving dollars and avoiding avoid debt based on the time of year:

  • Last year’s computer models are always going to be cheaper than the newest, hottest items. If you’re looking for a deal on last year’s tech, start now — July is your month. It’s also the best time to pick up craft supplies (think glue sticks, scissors, craft paper, and other items many elementary and middle school kids will use for their many projects).
  • You’ll find sales in August on your basics like backpacks and back-to-school supplies that might be on your kids’ school lists.
  • Want to get your child a new bike to get them to and from school? That’s a September item. By September, many desktop and laptop computers are on sale, and printers and cell phones, too.
  • Try to hold off until October for your clothing shopping — jeans and clothes will start to go on sale.

But you aren’t just at the mercy of watching for and catching sales from major retailers. Make your own savings by thinking outside the box when it comes to back-to-school shopping.

  • Check if your child’s school gives the option of buying supplies on the class list from the teacher. Often, teachers can save a lot by buying in bulk from suppliers, then they charge parents a lower flat rate to cover supplies.
  • Buy in bulk with other families if there’s interest, and split the costs.
  • When it comes to clothes or tech, think second-hand. Buying from a second-hand store or a consignment store saves money and can mean more unique options. Many tech companies offer a refurbished sales department full of high tech items at a discount.

Frugal Mama gives you the low down on the how-to of a clothing swap for parents and kids–nothing is cheaper than free!

Apple has a refurbished store that might help you find a deal, so does Dell.

This July, make a plan to implement some of the money saving tips above. You could get exactly what you want without the debt.

What are your debt-busting back-to-school tips? Tell us on Twitter. #BacktoSchool #DebtSolutions #FamilyFinances

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