Financial expert shares tips to make back-to-school shopping less stressful

Updated: 08/28/2014 8:27 AM
Created: 08/28/2014 8:26 AM WHEC.com
By: Lia Lando

The new school year is on the minds of every parent and that includes back to school shopping.

A new survey from Ebates.com shows that getting new supplies and clothes stresses out more than half of moms and dads.

More than nine out of 10 worry that they won't be able to get what they need because of items being out of stock. And staying on a budget is always a big concern.

Recently, we went shopping with a financial expert and she says the most important thing to remember is to make a list before you go shopping and stick to it.

“We need to know how many outfits they need, how many sweater they need, how many shoes in the house. Some of the things they have not outgrown from last year so we can let that overflow to this year.” Olivia West is a financial advisor. She's also the mother of three young children all heading back to school. She says it's important to remember the ABCs of back-to-school shopping.
A stands for action plan, you need to have a list
B stands for budget
C stands for coupons

Sounds easy enough but it takes some planning and organizing. West uses envelopes to stay organized. “So you put cash in an envelope for your variable expenses. Those areas that fluctuate every month and those are the areas we tend to overspend in such as our eating out, our food or even clothing allowance.”
One mistake parents make, they clip coupons but forget to bring them to the store. West keeps her coupons nearby in one of her envelopes. Another mistake parents make, “They ride all around town so today we're going to stay right here on West Ridge Road. We are not going to be trucking out to Eastview because burning gas sometimes is not the biggest savings.”
West recommends you cash in on old clothing at a consignment shop like "Kid to Kid" on West Ridge Road. “You can either take the cash and walk away or you'll get 20-percent more if you use the store credit that they are going to issue.”
West says it's best to use cash at the store because studies show when you use cash you tend to spend less.

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