Back-to-School Survival Guide: 4 Easy Money and Time-Saving Tips

Heading back to school in September? Follow these four simple tips and give you and your parents a hassle-free start to the new school year.

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Family planning student hacks
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Student Hacks: Hold a Family Meeting

Before the sun sets on summer, take time to think about the year ahead. That’s where simple student hacks come into play. Get everyone in your family together to set priorities, like which extracurricular activities are the most important to you, as well as your parents’ expectations when it comes to homework and chores.

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Two students working on their laptops
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Student Hacks: Go Easy on Scheduling

On average, children have lost eight hours of weekly unstructured free time over the last 10 years, says Dr. Shimi Kang, a Vancouver psychiatrist and the author of The Dolphin Parent. This trend affects kids’ stress levels and runs parents ragged, so look closely at the number of proposed weeknight activities and consider the time it takes to get to them, too. Both parents and students will want to leave space for family dinners, homework, hanging out and a proper night’s sleep.

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Healthy vegetables on countertop
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Student Hacks: Embrace Meal Planning

The key to avoiding frenzied takeout dinners on the way to violin lessons, late-night study sessions or hockey practice? Collaborate with your parents and create a two week rotating menu of family favourites, plus a list of go-to school-lunch fixings, and plan your grocery list accordingly. You’ll avoid unhealthy convenience foods and save your parents a lot of money.

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Woman carrying shopping bags
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Student Hacks: Don’t Overspend

There’s no need to buy a whole fall wardrobe before Labour Day. Instead, get a couple of new shirts and hold out for sales. As for school supplies, the average cost for items on a Canadian fifth-grader’s must-have list is around $108, according to a recent survey by Consolidated Credit. Try comparison shopping, or at least do an inventory of what’s at home before you invest in fresh gear.

Calling all coupon clippers! We’re collecting the best budget-friendly flyers from neighbourhoods across Canada and sharing them on our website. Check out the weekly bargains in your own hometown!

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