| Savings & Tips

Going from lazy summer days to busy school nights can be quite the transition for parents and children alike. Though there is no cure-all for the chaos that a new school year can bring, these back to school tips will help you and your family stay organized and on schedule through all the science projects, little league practices, and PTA meetings to come.

Put it on the Calendar
It sounds simple enough, but updating a calendar consistently with everyone’s schedule can help you visualize where your family needs to be and when (and evaluate whether or not anyone is being spread too thin). Your family calendar doesn’t need to be anything fancy or elaborate to do the trick.

  • Try one of these free printable calendar templates from Office.com.
  • Or make a calendar with sticky notes that’s easy to update and color coordinate. All you’ll need is some wall space, a pen, and sticky notes.
  • If you prefer to keep things digital, create a Google Calendar to store your family’s schedule. The nice thing about this method is you can access your calendar from anywhere, and you can set reminders so you never miss a practice or rehearsal because you forgot.

Shop Smart
It’s hard to avoid back to school shopping expenses. From calculators to shoes to college-ruled sheets of paper, the shopping list can be lengthy. Be a savvy shopper and take advantage of any savings and discounts available.

  • Before you make any back to school purchases, check with your child’s school for their class’s supply list as well as the school’s dress code. This will help prevent buying things your child can’t use or wear at school.
  • Do your shopping on tax-free weekend. If your state has one of these events, this is a no-brainer. Many retailers have special sales during tax-free weekends, too.
  • Enter our Back-to-School Sweepstakes for the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree and learn how to snag a free backpack for your little one at your local Direct Auto Insurance store.

Have a Routine
According to HealthyChildren.org, children do best when routines are regular, predictable, and consistent. When school is hectic and stressful, knowing what to expect at home will provide comfort for kids.

  • Laying out clothes (including uniforms or costumes for afterschool activities) the night before is a quick and simple way to make mornings less stressful. This goes for adults, too!
  • Establish bedtimes and morning alarm times a week before school starts so your child’s internal clock has a chance to adjust to a different schedule.
  • If you’re struggling to get up that extra hour earlier to get everyone ready and off to school before you leave for work, try an app like Sleep Cycle. It wakes you during your lightest phase of sleep so you feel rested when you start the day instead of groggy.

What does your family do to stay organized during the school year? Share your best back to school tips with us on Facebook or Twitter!


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