Back to School on a Budget

If you are still sticking to your New Year’s resolution of better budgeting, pat yourself on the back! It’s so easy to get sidetracked by holidays, summer vacations, parties, life in general, or any countless number of items that might throw a wrench in your penny-pinching plans. If you are a parent or student yourself, heading back to school is no different. From books to clothes to office supplies, the costs can really start to add up, but just as you have done in previous months, you can beat the back-to-school stress with some simple thrifty tricks and tips.

Re-use to Get Back to Class for Less Cash

Take stock of what you already have on hand. You probably have a plethora of pens and pencils laying around the house, gathering dust. Put them to good use! Do you still have crayons, erasers or glue leftover from last year that could still be used? If items from last year are still in good condition, you can use them again this year! Anything from binders to backpacks, lunchboxes to loose-leaf paper can be given new life for the new school year. Give items a facelift by adding touches of colorful paper, stickers, paint, or anything else to give items a unique look. The whole family will enjoy getting together to do arts & crafts, and your bank account will enjoy the added savings!

Make the Grade by Making your Own

As any fan of frugality knows, one of the best ways to save cash is by turning to a little DIY. If you are heading back to school on a budget, then this is one of the ways that you can really see the savings pile up. Instead of springing for a new notebook, opt to make your own! Take an old, plain composition notebook and glue on patterned paper of your choice. Trim around the edges to make the paper even with the edges of the notebook. Add flair with colored card stock – easy and inexpensive! Add geometric shapes to a canvas bag with fine point sharpies to create a personalized pencil pouch.

In order to carry all your thrifty items – bust out the sewing kit, pick out a colorful pattern, and make your own backpack by using this easy to follow guide:

https://www.craftsy.com/sewing/article/backpack-sewing-patterns/

You will get to enjoy your unique supplies throughout the year, and bask in the satisfaction that it cost little more than the time it takes to make them.

Make Educated Food Choices

If you have done so in the past, you know that school lunch programs can often times be expensive. By meal planning, buying in bulk, using coupons, and making your own lunch – you can save a ton on this expense! Deli meat sandwiches and PB&J’s are easy and quick. Mix it up by utilizing dinner leftovers. Cheese sticks, carrots, apples and chips are great snacks to include. Packing lunch can save those pennies!

Deals that Pass the Test

Try to spread out your costs throughout the year. Does your class list call for several boxes of tissues? See if you can spread the purchases across the entire school year, instead of buying it all at once.

Also, take advantage of your state’s sales tax holidays – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_holiday

Make the dollar store your first stop for school savings! They have paper, stickers, pens, markers, binders, and tissues for a fraction of the cost. For all your clothing needs, skip the mall and instead opt for a cheaper alternative such as your local thrift store. Also, use resources like eBay and Craigslist to find the best deals. Work with your friends and family to swap out items. One’s trash is another’s treasure!

Learn to be a Star Saver

Between the pens, markers, backpacks, clothes and supplies – it’s easy to overspend this back-to-school season. Don’t let your budget plans come crashing down now! By employing some creativity, applying a solid game plan, and utilizing a little DIY, you can head back-to-school in style while still keeping your budget intact.

– California Residents: As of January 1, 2020, TitleMax of California, Inc., d/b/a TitleMax, no longer originates new loans in California. TitleMax will continue to service existing loans originated before January 1, 2020. California Finance Lenders Law License No. 603K014. Please see our California Resident Notice at Collection and Privacy Policy: Submit a Verified Consumer Request to understand what information we collect, disclose, or sell, to request that we delete your information, and/or opt out of selling by clicking Do Not Sell My Personal Information.

– In Georgia, TitleMax offers Title Pawns.

– Illinois Residents: As of March 23rd, 2021, TitleMax® of Illinois, Inc., d/b/a TitleMax, no longer originates new loans in Illinois.

– New Mexico Consumers: please see important New Mexico Consumer Information and Disclosures.

– In Nevada, title loans should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any title loan transaction. Ability to repay analysis with income documentation required.

– In Tennessee, TitleMax offers title pledges, and secured and unsecured Lines of Credit (“LOC”). Only one LOC account allowed per customer, inclusive of other lenders. LOC customers are subject to a periodic income (and collateral, if applicable) review/validation.

– TitleMax of Texas, Inc. and TitleMax Online of Texas, Inc., d/b/a TitleMax acts as Credit Services Organizations to assist customers in obtaining a loan through an unaffiliated third-party lender. Please see store associate for details. Please see Texas Schedule of All Fees. TitleMax does not offer pawn loans or pawn transactions in Texas.

– TitleMax of Virginia, Inc. d/b/a TitleMax is licensed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission, license number VTL-11. As of January 1, 2021, TitleMax of Virginia, Inc., d/b/a TitleMax, no longer originates new loans in Virginia.

– TMX Finance of Virginia, Inc. d/b/a TitleMax Loans is licensed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. As of January 1, 2021, TMX Finance of Virginia, Inc., d/b/a TitleMax Loans, no longer originates new loans in Virginia.

– TitleMax®, TitleBucks®, and InstaLoan®, are not considered competitors. Please see a store associate for details.

1 Title-Secured Loans, Secured LOCs and Title Pawns: Maximum loan amount in Mississippi is $2,500. Maximum loan amount in Tennessee is $6,500, assuming customer qualifies for and accepts both the Pledge max of $2,500 and Secured LOC max of $4,000. Minimum loan amount for title-secured loans in South Carolina is $601.

Must be at least 18 years of age (19 in Alabama). Account approval requires valid government-issued ID, a credit inquiry, and a motor vehicle appraisal. Certain other eligibility requirements and terms & conditions apply. Loan/LOC/Pawn amounts vary by states and product. LOC customers are subject to a periodic collateral review to maintain credit limit.

Proof of income documentation and ability to repay analysis is required in Missouri, Nevada, some Texas locations, and Utah.

Refinancing is not available in Mississippi or Tennessee.

2 In-Store Personal Unsecured Loans: Must be at least 18 years of age (19 in Alabama). Account approval requires satisfaction of all eligibility requirements, including a credit inquiry. To apply, bring in proof of income (dated within the last 30 days), active bank account details (dated within 45 days), proof of residency, a void check, a valid government-issued ID, and in AZ, a valid AZ vehicle registration in your name. LOC customers are subject to a periodic income review/validation to maintain credit limit.

Unsecured loan/LOC products not available in all stores or states. Minimum/maximum loan/LOC amounts vary by state; not all loan amounts available in all states. Max loan/LOC amount for first time borrowers is $1,000 ($500 in AZ). Returning customers with a good payment history may qualify for higher amounts, currently up to $2,500 in most states. Without SSN or ITIN: Max loan is $300. Certain other terms and conditions may apply.

3 Online Personal Unsecured Loans/LOCs: Must be at least 18 years of age. Account approval requires satisfaction of all eligibility requirements, including a credit inquiry. To apply, you must provide proof of steady income (within 30 days), valid and verifiable bank account (statement dated within 45 days), a voided check, valid and active email address and telephone number, valid SSN, valid government-issued ID, and you must reside in the state in which you are applying (currently AZ, DE, KS, MO, MS, SC, TN, TX, UT or WI) and provide proof of residency. In AZ, must present valid AZ vehicle registration in your name. LOC customers are subject to a periodic income review/validation to maintain credit limit.

Minimum/maximum unsecured online loan amounts vary by state: SC min is $610. Maximum unsecured online loan/LOC amount for first time borrowers is $1,000. Returning customers with a good payment history may qualify for higher loan amounts, currently up to $2,500. Certain other terms and conditions may apply. Unsecured online loan products and amounts not available in all states. TN customers: Only one LOC per customer, inclusive of other lenders.

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