July 31, 2014
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Five Tips to Budget-Friendly Back-to-School Shopping

InCharge Debt Solutions helps families get a smart financial start to the school year

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Back-to-school time may be a relief for parents, but can also cause undue stress on families' wallets. The cost of school supplies, new clothes, and even new equipment for sports or hobbies can add up quickly. Before your son or daughter hits the books, doing a little bit of studying yourself can greatly reduce your back-to-school expenses. InCharge Debt Solutions, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers find solutions to their debt problems, offers the following tips for budgeting your back-to-school shopping:

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120731/DC49521LOGO )

    1. Get your school supplies list early. Take inventory around the house of
       what supplies you currently own, and check if any of last year's supplies
       are reusable. Buy new school essentials such as paper and binders in
       bulk, and save these essentials for next year--or when your child fills
       up his or her new spiral-bound notebook faster than expected. Watch for
       sales for non-bulk items such as rulers or calculators, and stockpile
       items throughout the year.
    2. Remember that kids grow quickly. Clothes that fit in August may not fit
       by next year. Make sure to stock up on the basics before buying trendier
       items, and try shopping at discount and secondhand stores instead of the
       mall. When it's time to shop, generate a list of new clothes that your
       children need, but don't feel obligated to buy an entire wardrobe at
       once: kids may request a few new items once they see what everyone else
       is wearing. And don't forget to check that your children's clothes are
       within the rules of school dress codes!
    3. Use gift cards to teach older kids about smart shopping. Give your older
       child or teenager a store gift card to use for back-to-school clothes or
       school supplies. Your child will feel independent swiping his or her
       card, and you can still monitor spending. Gift cards also teach kids
       about budgeting and comparison shopping.
    4. Don't forget hidden fees. Doctor appointments, school fees, and even
       extracurricular supplies are often-overlooked components to your
       back-to-school spending. Keep in mind your child's fall activities when
       planning your budget, and plan ahead to pay for weekly fees or one-time
       purchases such as musical instruments or sports equipment.
    5. Keep your receipts. Besides allowing you to return unwanted or unused
       items, receipts provide physical evidence of your purchases. You can
       track how much you have spent collectively on back-to-school items by
       compiling your receipts into a file. Keeping track of your receipts also
       allows you to pull together a realistic budget for next year and save
       money. If you shop online, make sure to print out receipts and track
       orders so they don't get lost in transit.

InCharge Debt Solutions provides bankruptcy counseling, credit counseling, and housing counseling services to consumers and service members in need of financial literacy education, money management guidance, and help finding the right debt solution for their specific situation.

For more information, contact InCharge Debt Solutions:

    --  For bankruptcy services, call 866-729-0049.
    --  For credit counseling, call 877-486-4924.
    --  For housing counseling services, call 877-251-1882.
    --  For servicemembers, call 877-258-9549.
    --  Or visit us online at www.InCharge.org

About InCharge(®) Debt Solutions InCharge® Debt Solutions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in personal finance education, housing counseling, bankruptcy services, and credit counseling. Founded in 1997, InCharge interacted with over 1.1 million consumers in 2011 alone. InCharge is affiliated with InCharge® Education Foundation, Inc. (ICEF) which is dedicated to providing educational products, services and research supporting the personal financial literacy of consumers across America. ICEF also provides financial literacy training to servicemembers and their families through MilitaryMoney.com. InCharge is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).

Contact: Media Relations InCharge(®) Debt Solutions (407) 532-5599 mediarelations@incharge.org

SOURCE InCharge Debt Solutions



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