Saving for back to school

Saving for back to school never is sweeter than when shopping on sales tax holidays. The sales tax holiday in South Carolina is August 4-6.

Local Financial Professional Sam Dixon from Black Harbor Wealth Management offers insight on how kids can check off their supply list without breaking the bank.

1. Set a Budget

I always tell my clients to start with a budget, and a budget is only as good as the paper it's written on. Once you know what your budget is, you have a guideline for how much you want to spend and where you want your money to go. On my website,, I have a budget worksheet that will help when taking these initial steps towards back to school shopping.

2. Scope Out the Supply List

Usually schools mail or send home your child's supply list for the next year. You can typically find them on the school's website, too. Go through the list before heading to the store and take inventory from what is still in good condition from last year so you know what your child needs. Not everything needs to be brand new. Backpacks, lunchboxes...things like that can be reused if in good shape, and believe it or not, you might already have plenty of school supplies lying around your house. Your desk drawers and closets may hold hidden treasures that can save you money when planning your list .

3. Follow Your Favorite Stores

Once you've got your list, look for deals at your local shopping outlets. Some may offer back to school discounts or student discounts. You can also find deals by following your local shopping stores on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Many companies send their loyal customers coupon links and advance notices of sales, especially around back-to-school season.

4. Get the Kids Involved

Back-to-school season is a great time to teach kids about budgeting basis. Get your kids involved with the planning process so they have an understanding of how budgeting works. I like to go over the list with my kids and take them shopping so they can decide where the money should be going. This is a good exercise in price comparison. If your kids want supplies with their favorite characters, show them how much more they'll cost than the generic ones. And here's some great motivation: let them keep any cash they don't spend to a certain amount.

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