SummaryAbby Sasser has years of experience sticking to her homeschool budget. Here are seven simple, practical tips to help you stay on your homeschool budget too.
Homeschooling Conference Season is upon us, once again, and reminds us the end of the school year, for most, is just around the corner.
Before I became a vendor, I remember the excitement I felt upon entering the conference venue, like a little girl entering a candy store.
Although I wanted to buy anything and everything under the sun, the reality is that most of us need to stick to a budget.
So, here are seven simple tips to help you stay on your homeschool budget:
1. Take a Quick Inventory of What You Have
As soon as the school year has wrapped up, take a quick inventory of the books you have. In this first inventory, it would be helpful to organize the books by subject.
Most Readers, Math, Science, and History textbooks can be passed on from year to year. This first inventory will give you an idea of what workbooks you will need for the next school year.
2. Organize Books by Grade
Once you have a general idea of what books you have, the next thing to do is to organize the books by grade. I write down what we have and mark the subjects we have yet to buy books for. I typically use this form when I write down my list. http://bit.ly/2Hi8AnY
I take it a step further and guesstimate how much each book would cost. This gives me an idea of how much I will be spending before I begin purchasing.
3. Take Advantage of Back-to-School Sales
For school supplies and such, the best thing to do, once again, is to do a quick inventory and organize what you have. Children don’t need new pens, pencils, or rulers every year, but they will most likely need new notebooks or notebook paper. So, take advantage of Back-to-School Sales but remember to purchase only what your children will need for the year.
4. Freebie Tables
One of my favorite resources is the Freebie Table at our homeschool co-op meetings. Not only can you find excellent resources (such as free flash cards, math manipulatives etc.), but you also have the opportunity to declutter your classroom and pass books and supplies you no longer use onto other families.
But like the Back-to-School Sales, make sure to get only freebies you think your children will use for the next school year. Anything the children do not use for the year can be placed back on the Freebie Table, so other families can enjoy them.
5. Attend a Homeschool Conference
I highly recommend attending a local homeschooling conference if possible. Aside from the opportunity to listen to speakers who give you encouragement and inspiration for the next school year, families can take advantage of money-saving discounts.
For example, you can browse books and save on shipping fees. Seton offers $30 off for each child you enroll at a Conference. Some conferences also have a used book section, where you can purchase used books at discounted rates.
For more information on an IHM Conference near you, please visit www.ihmconference.org
6. Stick to Your Budget but Be Realistic
It’s great to stick to your budget, but sometimes, there is a need to buy new textbooks or explore supplemental materials to fit a particular child’s learning style. Don’t hesitate to budget high-end items, especially when these purchases can help your child succeed in his or her homeschooling journey.
Also, don’t forget to budget for some fun stuff, such as readers, math manipulative kits, or science kits. Some of these fun finds I have wrapped and given to my children during our first day of school festivities, so they look forward to a new school year with much enthusiasm.
7. Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry
Jesus promised He will never forsake us or leave us. He provides, not just for all our needs, but He also knows the deepest desires of our hearts. So, say a little prayer right before making your purchases. Ask Him to lead you to the right materials that will lead our most precious children to Heaven.