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How to Save Money on #BackToSchool Shopping

It’s that time of the year again! Parents are gearing up to start doing their back to school shopping for their little ones starting school and returning for the first time. It can be very costly endeavor but not if you plat it smart!  These tips from the experts at Experian should help you save a few pennies this year.

1. Create a back-to-school budget to guide your spending.

Building a back-to-school budget will keep you focused when shopping — and help you avoid buying unplanned items.

2. Scout out school supplies you already have before going to stores.

A key to save money on back-to-school shopping is simply to audit the supplies you already have. While you find useful items, make a list of all the pens, pencils, notebooks, highlighters, art supplies, backpacks, and other necessities. You can also spend some time checking out closets and dressers to find out what clothing still fits.

3. Take advantage of stores that price match to save extra money on school essentials.

Stores like Walmart and Target will often price match — which means it’s a good idea to compare prices on school essentials with different retail and online stores. If you find better deals online, talk with customer service to show them the discount at another store to receive a price match. You can also set price alerts on websites like CamelCamelCamel.com to track Amazon.com pricing to know when is the best time to buy a particular item.

4. Check to see if your state has a sales tax holiday.

One of the best ways to save a little money on those purchases is to shop during your state’s sales tax holiday when sales tax is waived on certain items. Not all states offer them, but keep an eye out, because your state may make a last-minute announcement.

5.  Stay focused on your back-to-school shopping list by shopping alone.

One strategy to help you shop faster – and help you stay on budget is to shop without the kids (if possible). Shopping alone can help you be strategic as you shop down the aisles and focus on the necessities you need (e.g. school supplies, electronics). As children get older, they will want to be involved in certain shopping decisions (e.g. clothing, shoes), which is an opportunity to teach them about budgeting

6.  Visit consignment and thrift stores (or swap clothes with other parents)

Most back-to-school spending is going toward clothing and accessories – so finding ways to lower spending on that category is key. If your child is old enough, you can give them a certain clothing budget and take them to second-hand store to buy things they want.  Another option is to organize a clothing swap with other parents you know — or consider selling older clothes at garage sales or online.

Spring Clean Your Credit Report: How to Remove Negative History

Spring can be the time to get your financial house in order by examining your credit reports to remove any information that might not belong. Perhaps your address has changed. Or there are financial accounts you didn’t open. 

 Some Specifics Worth a Sweep:

  • Delinquent payments more than 7 years old. Get ‘em tossed.
  • A bankruptcy more than 10 years. That’s gotta go.
  • Outdated personal information. If a name, address or contact information is incorrect – we can change it.
  • Unfamiliar credit inquires. If you didn’t initiate them, they can be disputed.

 Correcting your Experian Credit Report can be easier than cleaning out your closet. If you spot something on your Experian Credit Report that you want to fixed, for example, the credit reporting firm has an improved Experian Dispute Center that it says makes it easier than ever. Now you can submit disputes from your smart device or desktop.

 Consider seasonal cleaning of your credit report, too. It’s a good idea to examine your credit reports from all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax,  & TransUnion®) quarterly, especially since data breaches and identity fraud are on the rise. 

 Using the Experian dispute center, consumers can:

  • Get their Experian credit report
  • Follow contextual links designed to help them better understand and access various sections of their report
  • Upload photos of supporting materials directly from their smartphone
  • Receive timely alerts updating them on the current status of their active disputes
  • Sort and view the accounts listed on their credit report by alphabetical order, date opened or status, and filter by categories such as collections or installment loans

 To obtain a free Experian credit report and submit a dispute, visit http://www.experian.com/disputes.

For more information about the dispute process, read the frequently asked questions at http://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/faqs/disputes-faqs.

The below Infographic provides some insights”‘

How to Avoid Child Identity Theft (INFOGRAPHIC)


This Halloween, there can be nothing more scary than the idea that one of these highly-publicized security breaches we’ve been hearing about results in our child’s identity being taken and used for nefarious purposes by hackers.

How horrible would it be for your 10 year old to have bad credit before he can even watch a PG-13 movie because he went to a gaming site and gave up too much information.

There are several things that parents can do to protect our children online (and ourselves) and Experian has assembled some of these tips for our readers into an infographic that we hope you find useful!

If you do, please share the knowledge and pass it along to your friends and family with kids as well!


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