Back to School season is not only busy but can be expensive! However, setting up your classroom for the new school year doesn’t have to break the bank. Let’s face it, we would all rather be spending our hard-earned cash on cocktails and long holiday lunches rather than our classrooms – and there is no shame in that! In fact, it should be celebrated! So we have collated 10 money saving tips for teachers during this back to school season:
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Look at what you already have. What can you reuse? What can you recycle? Don’t get distracted by all the back to school shiny objects, if you already have something in your classroom or home that can do what you are looking for – use it!
2. Purchase a Digital Planner
Purchasing a planner online and printing it yourself can save you quite a few dollars that you can put towards something else. Better still, help the environment and your pocket by using your planner digitally!
3. Make a Wish List
Often spending can get out of hand when we start buying with no plan in place. Make a list of all the items you want or need for your classroom. Try and list them in order from the most important to the least. Then use this list as a wish list. Start from the top and work your way down according to your budget. Additionally, you can always purchase items after school begins or as you need them.
4. Keep Laminating to a Minimum
Laminating takes time and can hurt your back pocket if you overdo it. It is necessary to laminate items that you want to get longevity out of or that students will regularly be using. However, not everything that comes into your orbit needs to be laminated. Perhaps a plastic sleeve could be used as a temporary solution before laminating.
5. Host a Teacher B2S Swap
We accumulate lots of ‘stuff' as teachers and what is one person's trash is another one's treasure! Swap décor themes with a colleague, if you are moving to a new grade. Donate your grade-specific resources to another teacher or organise a time for teachers at your school to bring in any unwanted teaching supplies to swap at a central location (make sure you stipulate no junk!)
6. Shop during the Sales
After Christmas, you can often pick up clearance items for affordable prices. Also, many online marketplaces (such as Teachers Pay Teachers) have storewide sales just before or after school goes back, therefore, if the items you need are not time sensitive, wishlist them and wait for the sales.
7. Don’t try and keep up with all the things on social media
I love looking at all the beautiful classrooms posted on social media just as much as the next person, but these classrooms were not created overnight. More often than not, the teacher has collected items over the years that contribute to the beautiful environment. Also, different schools have different budgets. Setting up your classroom is not a time to ‘keep up with the Jones’.
8. Time vs Money
Even though this post is about saving money where you can, sometimes an investment can be worth it. When thinking about purchasing resources and décor items for your classroom, weigh up the time it would take you to create it yourself. If purchasing an item for the classroom buys you the time for some self care or to do something you love, then that is money well spent!
9. Share the Love
Spilt the costs of larger items with another teacher. Often you can buy stickers in bulk or art supplies such as oil pastels, paint, crayons or bright coloured paper. By splitting costs with a friend, you can get more for less.
10. Win it
Look for contests or giveaways for teachers. There is always a tonne of them during the back to school season on social media (in particular Instagram). Why buy it, if you could win it!
We challenge you to try and save when setting up your classroom this year and spend a little more on yourself instead!
Do you have any great money saving tips for teachers? Please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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