As we noted in a prior post, back-to-school shopping can be no picnic for divorced or separated parents. This year is poised to be no different, with more kids wanting cell phones, flash drives, tablets and other electronic devices to go along with pencils, notebooks and clothes. Unlike school year beginnings of years past, more teachers are requiring kids (especially middle school and high school students) to have computers so that assignments can be delivered and completed online.
Because of this, the costs of back to school shopping are likely to increase yet again. The Wall Street Journal reports that parents will average $669 with such shopping, which is up nearly 25 percent from five years. Despite the disputes about sharing costs that may arise, parents can do three things to save money.
Do your research – Knowing exactly what your computer or tablet needs as far as memory or a hard drive can save money. There’s no sense in getting a computer that has a 500 gigabyte hard drive and 8 megabytes of RAM for a single-user computer.
Shop around – While many retailers will have similar prices on electronics, the packages they come in may be quite different. Packages include wireless keyboards and mice, carrying bags and even additional batteries. Shopping around to find the best deal on accessories can save money.
Think about refurbished items – In today’s market, refurbished items are nearly as well kept as new items, but with discounts of 20 percent and more. Combine these savings with promotional coupons and the final price of your items can be driven lower.
Source: WSJ.com “Dreading back-to-school costs? Do your homework,” Shelly Banjo, August 9, 2014