Who's ready for back to school?? Although school may have already started school its never to late for helpful tips!

School requires many different items to be successful – all of which can add up in a hurry if you’re not careful. Here are some tips for managing back-to-school costs:

1. Save for textbooks and materials: Textbooks and materials for higher education classes can rapidly add up to hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for just a semester. Starting a savings plan for these items ahead of time can help reduce unpleasant surprises down the road.

2. Don’t forget incidental costs: There are always unexpected costs when it comes to education. Some of these costs are obvious, but there are other costs you might not think of right away. Calculators, different types of database access, or even buying large amounts of paper and ink can cost a pretty penny. Don’t let these slip your mind!

3. Double-check your aid: With the number of charter and other non-public options for elementary and high school education, the concept of financial aid is not something limited to college students anymore. Right now, before or even after the school year starts, find out what you qualify for and what you are actually receiving.

4. Make a budget: This might not be a groundbreaking idea, but you’d be surprised by how many people fail to put together a budget for back-to-school shopping. Like anything else, not putting together a plan or budget before you start spending money will almost always result in you spending more than you should. Make a plan, stick to it, and your wallet will thank you down the road.

5. Research helpful tools: Their are plenty of helps full tools online and in you local library that can help bring to light important aspects of planning for college and more.

While back-to-school may be a hectic time of year, it doesn’t have to blow a hole in your budget. If you put together a plan for your spending, you can reduce your stress levels. So, get those pencils sharpened and USB drives out, the new school year is here!