1. Establish a plan. Before you rush out to the stores, try to make a plan and a budget. Figure out exactly what your kids need, what you already have at home and how much you have to spend. Figuring out what you can realistically afford can help keep yourself from having to swipe your credit card for a surprisingly big payment.
2. Use discretion when dealing with the option to open retailer credit cards. Chances are you've considered the “too good to be true” credit card offer at the checkout counter. This may be tempting, but you might want to resist the temptation and stick with your original method of payment. While these upfront savings may be nice, if you can afford to pay for it now, you might save yourself from potentially racking up interest costs later.
3. Use sales tax holidays. One way to save if you're on a tight budget is to take advantage of your state's tax-free holiday. Generally held over a weekend or a whole week, you can make school-related purchases tax free, which could save you hundreds of dollars.
Being aware of your three credit reports and scores before you hit the stores can help save you from making mistakes that will potentially negatively affect your credit score.
To make sure you're at the top of the class when it comes to your personal credit report knowledge, visit the PrivacyGuard website.