3 Back-to-School Checklists to Help You Anticipate Upcoming Expenses

Apple on stacked books in front of a blackboard at school.

School is expensive, whether it's your kid's public school or your own night school. In the long run, going back to school might help you to earn more (and make your kids employable once they graduate). However, while you're at school, there are going to be a number of expenses for you to deal with, and it can be difficult to manage them all. Here are some back-to-school checklists to help you anticipate upcoming expenses.

Checklist for Children's Back-to-School Expenses

For kids, you'll find that the following back-to-school expenses are a drain on your income:

  1. Private School Fees: If your kid goes to a private school, then you'll have to pay private school fees, which can be pretty hefty.
  2. The Cost of Uniforms: At private schools, you have to spring for uniforms from particular stores which can also increase your expenses.
  3. The Cost of Clothing: Going to a public school might occasionally be more expensive than going to a private school because kids are constantly competing with each other when it comes to dressing well.
  4. Books, Notebooks, Laptops: Kids are going to need these items to their homework and prepare for tests. Books and laptops can be expensive.
  5. General Living Expenses: When your kid's going to school, there are going to be general living expenses such as food, transportation, entertainment etc. You don't want to deprive your child of the company of their peers. So you'll need to shell out money for them to hang out at the mall or the local eatery.
  6. Medical Expenses: Kids do get sick. And many of them need dental work as they are growing up. This might be covered, for the most part, by insurance, but not 100%.

Checklist for Adults' Back-to-School Expenses

It's not just kids who have expenses going back to school but adults as well.

  1. Tuition: If you are taking night classes, you'll have to pay the tuition for these, and this can get pretty hefty, depending on what the class is for.
  2. Books, Notebooks, Laptops: Just like your kids, you're going to need these items in order to complete your assignments.
  3. Missing Work: There are times when you might decide to leave your job and go back to school full-time. This may increase your employability a lot later, but at the moment, you're going to be strapped for cash because you'll have to leave your job.
  4. Living Expenses: Like your kids, you're also going to continue to have living expenses such as rent, utilities, medical expenses, etc.

Checklist to Help You Save Money When You Go Back to School

Overall, back-to-school is going to be expensive for you and your kids. You may be looking forward to a better-qualified future, but what are you going to do in the present? Many people end up taking out loans to pay their tuition. This may be, to a certain extent, unavoidable. But there are several steps you can take to ensure that you don't get too far into debt.

  • Save Money: If you are planning to go back to school, it makes sense to start saving money. This means cutting down on your expenses wherever possible. This will ensure that you don't get too heavily into debt.
  • Check Interest Rates: Check the interest rates on the loans you take to go back to school. Generally, federal loans have lower interest rates than private loans.
  • Save on Books and Laptops: Buy used books whenever you can. If you don't have a computer, your school/your kid's school is sure to have a computer center where you can complete your assignment.
  • Student Discounts: Students get discounts in many places. So carry your student ID with you wherever you go.
  • Living Expenses: Cut down on living expenses where you can. Consider renting a smaller apartment which is a little further away from downtown. Learn to use coupons and make use of sales for back-to-school expenses.
  • Get a Part-Time Job: You can still work part-time when you are at school. So can your kid. As long as the job is not too taxing, this can be a good idea to do alongside schoolwork.

Learn More About Back-to-School Checklists and Upcoming Expenses

Going back to school can be expensive, for you as well as your kids. With a little preparation, however, you can cut down on school expenses and ensure that you don't get too heavily into debt.

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