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Getting the kids ready for another school year can take a toll on your budget, especially if it’s their first time back in the classroom. If you overdid it, that’s okay. Between new school supplies, clothing, and tech, back-to-school shopping is a big expense.
Now that the school year is underway, you can focus on repairing your budget and getting back to normal. Here are some tips to help you recover and avoid this problem next year!
Why Paying Yourself Back After Spending is Important
You need to pay back what you spent this fall — whether you put their back-to-school clothes on a credit card or used your savings. Here’s why:
1. You’ll Avoid Interest Charges
A credit card is a convenient backup that helps you afford the essentials when your kids need them most. However, like any loan or cash advance, a credit card comes with interest and finance charges.
These fees snowball when you let a balance carry over from month to month, so you’ll want to pay off your charges as quickly as possible.
2. You’ll Be Prepared in an Emergency
Although you won’t owe interest on the savings you use to shop, you should treat this account just like any credit card. Getting your savings back to their base level will help you if an unexpected expense comes your way.
Maybe your child needs emergency dental surgery after they chip a tooth on the playground. Or perhaps the minivan breaks down unexpectedly, and you have to cover the cost of a tow truck and repair.
Your emergency fund is there to cushion the blow of these expenses. If it falls short, you can visit MoneyKey to learn how online direct lenders might help. Online direct lenders may offer quick, convenient installment loans that act as a backup to your savings in an unexpected emergency, and many of them are willing to work with bad credit.
However, if you take out an installment loan, make sure you have a plan in place to repay it on time and refill your emergency fund so that you can cover the next unplanned expense on your own.
How to Repair Your Budget
So now you know the why, let’s get into the how. If you’re planning on paying off your credit card or replenishing your savings, check out these tips.
Follow a Meal Plan
You can find savings when it comes to your essentials, as long as they’re variable expenses like groceries. Groceries change week to week depending on what you put in your cart, so you can control how much you spend. Try following a basic meal plan and use coupons in store to reduce your bill.
Your cell phone and insurance plans aren’t set in stone. You might be able to find a better deal without sacrificing coverage by shopping around or leveraging your loyalty with these companies.
If you need to make a purchase — let’s say you run out of laundry detergent or need a new furnace filter — don’t pay full price for these items. Explore these browser extensions to save money or earn a rebate.
Making these subtle changes to your month can help you set aside more money to put towards debt and savings. You can go back to normal once you’re done, or you can make them a habit to save for next year’s back-to-school spending.