Kids across the country are back to school – and even if you don’t have a rug rat in the education system, there are some costs that flare up each and every September: extra traffic fines. During the summer months, rules can change near schools and school zones. In the best interest of keeping the kids safe, speed limits are lowered, no parking/stopping rules are in effect and more people are out on the road (particularly at the start and end of school days!). The speed limit in school zones is 30km/hour from 8am to 5pm. This isn’t a place where ‘a little extra speed is ok’. Police are quick to ticket – so skip the expense and stay under 30! Keep yourself and the kids safe by observing posted school zone signs, watching out for busses (and their flashing lights) and excitedly crossing children. As you’re driving your kids to school and dropping them off, remember that there can be severe restrictions on U-turns and stopping in certain areas of school zones. Keep the schools (and your wallets) happy by observing the rules, leaving with enough time to get there easily and keeping your eyes peeled.
It’s time to get serious about back to school shopping. Sending the kids out there is a big responsibility, and an essential part of 18-years (or more!) worth of Septembers. Here is something to try this year that will make next year much, much easier. We’re all about planning for the future and making sure your money works hard for you. At the same time, we want to make sure you’re doing as little as possible – it’s human nature, we want to save on work as much as we want to save on spending. Try bulking up on the essentials for back-to-school. We’re not saying build an Office Depot in your basement or garage, but find out what you always need to pick up for the year and double up on the order. Things like binders, lined paper, pencils, pens and basic art supplies aren’t going to go bad – and are going to be standard issue school supplies for the rest of time (until we’re all taught by robots, typing on tablets). Buying in bulk gives you more purchasing power and takes an incredibly small amount of time – especially when you compare picking
OK, OK – I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself here. I know that summer is only halfway through. But that means we should start looking at the next set of expenses: Back to school shopping. Got a kid (or two, or three, or four) ready to hit the books again in September? Are you heading back yourself? You know that it can be a pricey time of year, so here are some ways you can get back to school without breaking the bank. Get a Game Plan: Planning can be boring, but it can also save you cash and time. There’s nothing worse than spending a summer day shopping for school supplies and clothes. Sit down (with or without the kids – whatever’s easiest for you) and make a full list. Cover things like clothes, supplies and incidentals. Even though most elementary schools haven’t released the supply lists, I’m sure you’ve got a good idea what’s going to be on there. And besides, if there is something specific, you can always grab it later on. Check the Closets: Whether you’re scoping out clothes or supplies, chances are you might have
The madness is over! The kids are back in school and you finally have some time to catch your breath! We think you all deserve to relax a bit so we’re giving away a spa retreat to one lucky person. **You can win a $150 gift certificate to your local spa and enjoy any treatment on us. All you have to do is let us know how you relax without spending more than $20 by leaving a comment below or on our **Facebook wall! The contest closes on September 14, 2010 @ 11:59pm EST. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on September 15,2010. The winner will be contacted by e-mail or private Facebook message. The contest is only open to Canadian residents, excluding Quebec.
If sending the kids back to school is causing you a ton of stress worrying about all those school expenses, then here are some ideas to help you prepare for the expenses and save yourself some money in the process. 1) The school envelope – Grab an envelope and start stashing money in it. This is your emergency backup for the times that you forget to pack a lunch or withdraw the lunch money. It’s also a life-saver when your child appears the morning of a field trip with a permission slip and a need for cash. 2) Ask the school about financial assistance programs – Ok, so it can be a bit embarrassing to ask for reduced tuition, lunch waivers or fee waivers, but if you qualify, why not do it? Use the money that you save to provide for your family in other ways – rather than padding your pride. Been there, done that. 3) Talk to your child’s teachers – Ask them what expenses to plan for. How many field trips will your child take this year? What opportunities will be available to your child later in the year? Teachers plan for these things well in advance and they