Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Budgeting Back to School {HomeLife}

I kind of have been working on the back to school budget. Woah. Back to school what?!? It's only May!

I know. I actually worked on the budget back in February.

It was the "kinder round up" which prompted me deciding to start it then. Especially since Samara starts kindergarten in the next school year!

Our school year here in Arizona (and I am fairly certain it is most of the state) starts at the beginning of August. The district in which we live starts in the middle of July. It is a modified year-round, so our summer is shorter, but we get longer breaks.

Starting the budget for it in February gives 5 months to save up for buying the supplies, clothes and other necessities. It is easier to save earlier than to start saving later. Plus it is a bonus to plan for the cost non-sale items and have money left over.  I think after this next year I'll start saving right after the start of the year instead of only the 5 months I gave myself this year (this is all in theory anyway. I may forget! Ha!).

I'm fairly thankful our school has the supply shopping lists for each grade posted on the website. I don't know what my parents did in the time of no internet. I remember getting the shopping lists at school, was it at the end of school for the next year or at the beginning of the school year I do not remember. But I need so much more time than that to plan. It must be my type A personality. I'm just thankful I can access it anytime.

I used the list from the website and entered each item into a spreadsheet. I used google sheets because it's easy to access from my phone and computer straight from my google drive. The columns from there are the total of the item, running total to spend, what I spent per item, running total spend and the difference. Here is an example of the columns...

I did this for the optional items as well. If we can save up for those we would try, but I am not too worried about those.

To find the cost of the items, I went online and checked out Walmart, Office Max, and Target for their current cost of items. I'll be honest, some costs carried over from previous years and I didn't bother to check those. I tried to make it as up to date as I felt necessary. I'll see next year how much it changes.

I took the final tally and divided it amongst the paychecks between then and the start of the school year. And each kid has their own budget, they each get their own line.

It helps to keep up with what you spent the previous year. I did this for when my first started kindergarten as well and discovered I underbudgeted for some of his clothes. The difference for things like his backpack made up for the amount I was short (I only spent half), but I have since adjusted those overspent amounts. Tabs at the bottom help keep track of it.

This year I plan on working on keeping the kids with a capsule wardrobe (yup. love those things) to limit the number of clothes they have and so I do not need to spend too much money on things for them (and don't forget not having loads of laundry). Luckily, for now, they still have shirts that fit. Pants, shorts, and undergarments will be the biggest expenditure for clothes.

I'm excited. I love shopping for school supplies and new clothes.

I'm sure the way I do it is either harder than it has to be or too simple.

How do you budget for the school year?