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How to Save Money on School Supplies

Most people underestimate how much they will spend on back-to-school supplies.

Most people underestimate how much they will spend on back-to-school supplies.

School supplies may be costing families more than they think. In a voluntary user poll conducted by USAA, people underestimated how much the average American family spends on back-to-school shopping for children in kindergarten through 12th grade by over $100.00. In fact, families will spend an average of $606.00 this year on back-to-school supplies, shoes, clothing and electronics.

But you don’t need to shell out that much this fall. Here are some ideas to help your family save money on back-to-school products. Not only are these tips good for your bank account, many of them are good for the environment too.

1. Pull out last year’s supplies.

Dig out all those school supplies from last year that are still usable. Test pens and markers to make sure they haven’t dried out. Don’t scorn hand-me-downs and put your clothing budget on a diet.

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Expendable Expenses at College

expendable-expensesTuition is high enough as it is, so why not cut back on unnecessary living expenses? Here are ten things you don’t really need while staying in a dorm.

1. A Credit Card
Establishing good credit is important for a young person, but you don’t really need to add on the debt while living at college. On average, a college freshman with a credit card amassed $2000 in debt, reports Kiplinger. Instead, get a debit card that won’t let you spend money you don’t have.

2. High Bank Fees
It can cost about $5 every time you withdraw money from an out-of-network ATM. Consider opening a bank account with branches near campus or an online checking account that doesn’t charge ATM fees or refunds ATM surcharges from other banks.

3. Redundant Health Insurance
If you’re on family health coverage, you don’t need to buy additional campus health coverage. It’s wise to do some comparative shopping, but watch out for low coverage maximums and high co-pay fees. Staying on your parent’s insurance may mean extra paperwork to prove that a young adult is a full-time student, but in many cases it’s worth it.
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Most Teens Are More Fiscally Responsible Than Their Parents

piggy bankWhy do most teens get a job? So they can earn money and spend it, right? Well, evidently not.

A new survey conducted by TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. shows that 63 percent of teens save their money to help pay for college. This is much higher than our parents’ generation. Only 40 percent of the generation before us saved money when they were teens. This finding was somewhat unexpected. Most adults assume that if teens are actually saving their money, they will spend it on the latest fashions, entertainment, or electronics.

In response to the new trend, Joseph Peri, CEO of the Council for Economic Education, said “it’s a pleasant surprise that we’re seeing young people paying that much attention to the importance of this issue. Part of teaching the importance of investing is showing that the best investment a young person can make is an investment in themselves.” Read the rest of this entry »


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