Thursday, August 1, 2013

That time of year is just around the corner.  And if you are a student yourself or if you are a parent and you have kids, you know that going back-to-school takes a lot of energy refocusing as well as taking its toll on your wallet. 

Here at We Solved It, we have some tips that might make the return a little less stressful on your mind, body and bank account.  

Take a good look at the calendar.  Note how many days you have left until the first day of school is officially here and how many days left that you have of your “official summer” to play with.
From here, you will be able to calculate what FUN things you still can do with the time you have left and create a budget to allot for those fun things as well as what you can work with for your back-to-school shopping (school supplies, clothes, etc.) 

To make sure that your back-to-school week doesn’t end up in back-to-school blues, you will need to do some preventative measures to make sure your first week back goes smoothly.  
Car or bike maintenance.  The last thing you need if you are a student or a parent in carpooling is to have car issues.  This not only throws a wrench in your transportation to and from school, but adds more headache as well. We do not realize how much we tax our cars (or bicycles) during the summer having fun, as we simply just take it for granted and go where we need to.    If you take the bus, make sure your bus passes are in place and cover you at least through the holiday season. 

Computer check-up.  Have you put off cleaning out your computer?  It’s time you get this handled.  The last thing you want to do is to wait last minute and have Geek Squad holding onto your computer for 2-3 weeks wait time because they are backlogged from everyone else who did the same thing – waited and then had computer issues.   Get on this.   First clean up your computer files, run antivirus software updates, get the software upgrades you KNOW you are going to need for school and clear your cache, temp files, run all the necessary scans and defragment your computer.  You should be doing this on a regular basis anyway. But everyone gets lazy in the summer having more fun rather than tending to computer maintenance.  You can improve the speed, functionality and efficiency of your computer so it is not sluggish and bogged down, further making class homework painfully s-l-o-w-er to do because your computer isn’t running efficiently.    You know you put your computer or tablet on overload downloading new music, reading new books during your vacation and also all those summer fun photographs you’ve shared on your social networks.  Time to give your computer some cleanup time and get it ready for back-to-school, so YOU don’t CRASH and burn before school even begins. 

Closet rehab.  When was the last time you went through your clothes closet or took care of your shoes?  Has it been awhile?   This sounds like a pain, and it is – but it is better to find out now what fits, what needs repair, pressing and what doesn’t rather than when that 5:00 a.m. alarm goes off come back-to-school time only for you to discover your closet situation is a mess and you are late for class each day because of it.   Make Goodwill bags or if you want to make some extra cash, look into places like Plato’s Closet or other trading post exchange shops where you can sell your clothing, especially if there is stuff in your closet you never bothered to make use of or wear, or have only worn once or twice.    Get rid of it, make some cash and/or make good karma in donating.  You’ll be glad you did.    While you are here, make notes of what you need to fix, get it to your tailor or drycleaner, or sew stuff yourself if you are that handy.   If you did a major cleanout during the spring, then make notes of what you need to add to your list for back-to-school shopping.  

Shop the sales.  There will be an end-of-summer sale and a Labor Day weekend sale. Take note and keep watch in your mailbox or online for merchandise coupons.  If you shop the Thrift Stores – get in there before others do, so you have first pick at the selection.  Compare shop before you hit the stores, so you can use your time more efficiently.  Recycle things in your closet that you have that you can wear other ways to save on making unnecessary purchases.  When it comes to school supplies and things you need like a printer cartridge or a flash drive or other items, check the office supply store websites – you’ll find competitive couponing.  Also check warehouses and superstores and do your bulk shopping where you need and double check competitor cash back promises.

Plan the "1 week ahead sleep pattern rescheduling."   You know you’ve taken all the liberties with what summer has to offer.   You stayed up late and slept in.  Now is the time to get your body and mindset as well as sleep schedule back on track.  Do this in advance and you will not only return to your optimum level of sleep, but you will be on a healthy trek to build up your immunity before the Fall flu season hits.   Stock up in vitamins and essentials to ensure that you can nip a cold in the early stages so you are not missing any critical school time. 

Back-to-school savings isn’t just about saving money, but it is about saving time and money as well as your sanity for the season ahead.   A little preparation goes a long way and before any of these back-to-school blues set in, you can stay ahead of the curve now and say “I SOLVED IT!”

~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It

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