Ten Tips To Have A Successful Yard or Garage Sale

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

How To Have a Successful Yard or Garage Sale | www.pennypinchinmom.com  #sale

It seems that every time I look around my house and decide to declutter, I need to get more and more things!  Sure you can donate those items, but you could easily turn around and make some money!!  After all “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure.”

However, before you just throw everything onto a table or your driveway, there is some prep work that you need to do. I am actually having one here next week and have begun my work. So, I will start to make some posts about what I am doing to get ready, so that you can have a successful sale yourself!

1. Pick the right day and time. This all depends upon where you live. In my area, Friday nights and Saturday mornings are the best times for sales. For other regions, it my be a Wednesday. You can easily look in your local newspaper for listings to see what is the norm for you.

As far as the time of day and length to run your sale – that is really personal preference. However, if you are going to have it on a weekday, try to run it into the evening so that you can catch those people who have to work as well.

2. See if you can have a neighborhood sale. Many times, when you can post a neighborhood or subdivision sale, you can have a larger draw, as people know that they can drive to one area and hit several sales.

If you are participating in one of these, I recommend a Seller’s List. This is where each household participating provides their address and the types of items they have for sale. It would be available at the entrance of your neighborhood – by the signs – for people to grab to see where they may want to go shopping.


123 Main: Kids’ items, furniture, housewares, misc.
125 Main: Tools, sporting goods, linens, misc.

3. Organize your items for display – and do so neatly. If you walk up to a sale and everything is literally thrown onto a table and you can’t even see what is for sale, more than likely, you will turn and walk away. Taking the extra time to have several tables and items split out can yield you even more money.

I have the following tables/locations for my sale: Home Decor, Electronics, Housewares, Linens, Toys, Baby Items. They are all on their own tables and set up nicely on the table so that my customer can easily see what I am selling.

Another plus of having a nice display is more appeal. It comes across to the buyer that you take pride in your items you are selling, showing that you took care of them when you own them.

4. Make sure your items are clean. When you are pulling your items out to set on your tables, be sure it is clean. Nothing is worse than picking up a plate with food on it, or a picture covered in dust. Just taking a few minutes to wipe the dirt off of something, or wipe down the smudges can earn you a little extra money.

5. Launder and fold/hang clothing items. If you are selling clothing, be sure to take the time to launder everything before you sell it. Would you really want to purchase a coat that you can tell a 2 year old enjoyed his chocolate ice cream cone before Mom put it up for sale? Probably not. However, if it was clean, you may have more interest.

I take the time to wash and fold all of my items. I display them nicely on a table and fold and sort according to size. This makes it very easy for my buyers to find what they are looking for. Plus, it is clean and they are more willing to purchase.

As far as outfits go, I take the extra time and press everything. I know, ironing is NOT fun. However, a nicely pressed outfit could bring you $1-$2 more. So, it is worth it.

I also HIGHLY recommend to hang outfits. This helps you in more than one way.

ONE: It helps your customers to look through all of your items without rummaging through a table resulting in a mound of wrinkled clothes.

TWO: It can increase the value of the outfit. By hanging an outfit all on on hanger or grouped, it makes it worth more to the buyer. It also helps you as all items are already together at the time of the sale and you aren’t looking over 3 tables trying to find the matching hat or socks.

THREE: People feel like they are shopping in a store rather than a garage sale.

6. Clearly mark all items with a price tag or use signage. While you may be willing to negotiate your price, having your entire sale marked “Make Me An Offer” can turn many people away. Most need to know what you are asking.  If you hang a few “We Negotiate” signs, then people will see you are asking $10 for that side table, but know that you may be willing to wiggle a little on the price.

If you are not sure what to price things, you can go and check out Ebay or Craigslist so that you can be sure you are asking a fair price for your items. Just be sure you don’t under price your stuff!

7. Advertise your sale with signs. Be sure to set up signs with directional arrows to help guide people to your sale. I recommend to start with a larger one at the busiest intersection closest to your house and then set them up every so often to help guide people to your sale. If you don’t advertise, people can’t find you. I even will put one in my yard so that it helps to just really draw people in.

8. Don’t forget your change (and accept cash only). Be sure that you have enough ones, fives, quarter, etc. so that you can make proper change for your customer’s purchases. I usually get $75 – $100 in change to have handy. But I do NOT put it all into my container at once. I keep the additional change in the house and as I run short of any denomination, I can just run in and get what I need.

I also recommend to keep your money in a cash box or even a carpenter’s apron. Never let it sit in the open as it is just too tempting for the wrong person to grab it and run.  Another recommendation I have is that when you start to get a large sum in your box, take some of it into your house so that you don’t have as much available for others to see. Even the person who seems harmless could try to grab and go, leaving you hanging.

Make sure you accept cash only.  You don’t want to deal with potential returned check charges.  You should also be wary of large bills as you don’t want to end up being paid with counterfeit bills!   If someone is making a very large purchase, I will have them make a deposit on the item and they can go and get the cash and then come and complete the transaction.  That way, if they say they want it (and then I don’t sell it) and they never return – I don’t miss out on a potential sale with another customer.

9. Be ready to start when you say you will. When you advertise your sale will begin at 8:00 a.m., be ready to open your doors BY that time. Many times, people arrive early so that they can find the best deals and if you don’t open on time, you could lose someone who is willing to part with many of your “treasures.”

10. Don’t be married to your prices. Be willing to talk with someone about the price of an item. Always know how much you MUST get (or really WANT to get for the item) so that you know how low you are willing to go. That way, you have wiggle room and come across as someone who is willing to wheel and deal with people.

The last few hours of your sale is a GREAT time to help get rid of those last piles of junk that you really don’t want to have to box up to cart away. I will offer a 50% off all marked prices deal during the last 1 – 1 1/2 hours of my sale. It is amazing what you can unload when you say that it is marked down….even something that someone can pay .25 for vs. .50 is a deal to many and after all, .25 in your pocket is more than you’ll get to have to get rid of it later on.

Hopefully you are all set and ready to make your sale a success.  Oh – and don’t forget about the most important detail — What are you going to DO with all your new found money!??!

How to Dispute Items on your Credit Report

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

When was the last time you checked your credit report? Due to increased Identity Theft, it is wise to do it once a year.  If you are looking through the report and you find something  is wrong, what do you do?  Learn what you need to do to dispute those errors you might find.


Have you checked your credit report lately to know exactly what is on it? No matter your credit score it’s always best to stay up to date on your report, if for no other reason to make sure your identity is not being used fraudulently.

Federal Law now requires companies to allow you to check it for free once per year.  You can request yours by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.  Do NOT use any of the other companies  which may look similar to this, as they are not the correct program and could cost you money.

Just click on REQUEST YOURS NOW at the top of the page.  It will take just 3 simple steps and you will get a report showing all agencies, or just those you want to see.  I would recommend you select all of them as some things may be correct with one company, but in error with another.
Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 11.54.16 AM

As an alternative, each credit reporting agency will also provide you with one free report annually and you can request them individually.     I recently checked mine through Experian to track my report and score as I’m trying to work on increasing my personal credit score for the future.

A credit report can look scary especially if you have missed a few payments, or have old medical bills, student loans or more, but don’t let it get to you.  Remember:  Your credit report does NOT define you, but you can use it to help better yourself and your life, if you so choose.

As you review your report, you will see the good, the bad and sometimes – the ugly.  As you review your report, make sure that all items you see are in fact yours.  It could mean that it is time for the item to be removed from your report, an account which you never opened or even incorrect information.    It is up to you to review these to make sure they are correct.

Most negative items will fall off of your report after a period of seven years.  In the case of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 will remain on your report for seven years and Chapter 13 will follow you for 10.  This is part of the reason you need to check your report.  You need to make sure those negative accounts are removed when the time has arrived.

Just because you have a lot of items on your report does not mean that it is a bad thing.  A good report will show solid payment history and long standing accounts.  These in turn help increase your score.


If you find something that you feel is in error, you need to dispute the item.  Each company has it’s own way to report this.  You may find a button in the side bar or next to each item.

Each company will have it’s own dispute form.  This is what you would see if you disputed one through Experian.

dispute form


Enter all information, making sure it is correct.  Once you are done you may be asked to once again verify your identity.  Remember that you need to complete all sections of the form and then submit before it is actually considered sent.  Make sure you do not click out of the form too quickly.

Make sure that you only dispute what you have legitimate reason to dispute. I know this sounds like a no brainer but you can get into trouble for trying to fraud the system. Once you’ve filed your dispute they will take you to a screen showing your disputes and that they are pending. They have 30 days to talk to your debtors and see if the disputes are legit and to make an answer. Once an answer has been reached you will receive notification of your accounts and what happened.

I know this can all be overwhelming, but it truly is worth it, especially if you’re working towards goals of purchasing a house, car or anything else and you don’t want to pay super high interest rates. This step by step is quick and easy and takes you through all the steps on how to dispute items on your credit report!

*I’m not a financial advisor and I do not work for any of these companies. This is not a sponsored post or credit advice. It’s an informational post on my own experiences with my own credit report and disputes.*

Tips & Tricks To Maximize Your Savings at Kohl’s! (Best of All – They Really Work)!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

These are MUST KNOW tips and tricks to getting the best savings and deals at Kohl's! Pin and share with your friends!!

I’ve been a loyal Kohl’s shopper for years.  In fact, when the one near us was being built, I always joked that the sign that said “Coming Soon – Kohl’s” should have read “Coming Soon – Tracie’s Kohl’s”.  I seriously think I own one corner of that store – if not more!

The reason I shop there is I find the best deals.  I can’t even remember EVER paying full price for anything there. In fact, I usually save 50% off of my purchases – or more!  Over the course of my Kohl’s love affair, I’ve figured out many great tips on how to really save money there.  You may know some of them – but others may come as a surprise to you!

Time to shop!


1.  Best time to shop — 3 pm Friday to 1 pm Saturday.  This is the time frame when Kohl’s usually offers it’s doorbusters.  That means, they are some of the best prices you will find at that time.  Rather than miss a deal, just visit at this time and you will find not only the regular weekly mark downs, but also some of those time sensitive offers as well.


2.  Combine receipts to reach Kohl’s cash limits.  This is one that a LOT of you may not know about.  If there is an offer for spend $50 and get $10 in Kohl’s Cash, and you spend $42, you know you will not qualify.  However, if during the same promotional period, you visit Kohl’s again and spend at least $8, you can actually COMBINE your receipts to get your Kohl’s cash!

Yes!  It is true!  You do not have to spend $50 in a single transaction, but can actually combine multiple shopping trips to reach the limit.  The only thing to remember is that it has to be in the same promotional period.  For instance, if the cash offer is running from July 3 – July 10, anything you buy during that time can be combine to reach your limit.  However, if you shop again on July 14th, that would be a new Kohl’s Cash period and your receipt could not be combined with those during the prior shopping period.

Just ask your cashier and they can do it for you right at the register!  Now, aren’t you annoyed at all of the free Kohl’s Cash you may have been missing out on?


Shop online and pick up in the store


3.  You can shop online and pick it up in the store.  This is a brand new feature and a great way to get some of the best discounts — without worrying about shipping charges.  Many times, the coupon codes are only available for online purchases.  We don’t always have an in-store coupon that can be used.  No problem!

Just place your order online and just opt to pick it up at your local store instead.  That way, you get the maximum discount PLUS avoid shipping charges.  You also get it that same day!


4.  Pay off your Kohl’s charge immediately at the register.  If you are like me and really do NOT like to use credit cards, this may work for you.  There are times when I get an offer to redeem a coupon, but I must use a Kohl’s charge to use the code or discount.  What I do is just use my card and then turn around as soon as I am done and pay off the balance with my cash.  I can do it right at the register.  No worries.  No balances and best of all – NEVER any interest.  That allows me to get all of the Kohl’s Card perks with none of the headaches.



5. Kohl’s Cash threshold can be reached at $48.    You don’t have to spend $50 or more to qualify for your Kohl’s cash.  Just hit $48 and you will be on your way to adding up your cash!   Don’t forget that your Kohl’s cash is determined after all discounts but prior to any applicable sales tax.


6.  Kohl’s will price match.  This is one of those hacks that many people do not know about!  Kohl’s will match it’s competitors and you can still use up to a 15% off coupon when matching.  Here is what you need to know about this service:

  • Must have the competitor’s ad from physical store.
  • Will not match online pricing (such as Amazon).
  • Will not price match to it’s own Kohls.com prices.
  • Will not match clearance or Buy One offers
  • You can use coupons and Kohl’s cash when price matching; however, the coupon is limited to 15% off and is applied


Refund on overpayment


7.  Get a refund if you find your item on sale after you buy.  This is the one that always gets me.  I buy something and turn around and a week later it is on sale!  UGH!  This is the great thing about Kohl’s – you can actually get a refund back on the difference!

  • You bought the item on sale or at regular price.
  • Within two weeks (14 days) of the purchase date, the price of the item was further reduced from the final price you paid.
  • You have the original, dated sales receipt.
  • The item is not a Clearance markdown.
  • The item is not Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise.
  • The item was not purchased as a Buy One, Get One (BOGO).
  • The item is not a current Buy One, Get One (BOGO).

If you used a coupon or code on your purchase, then that offer must still be valid in order to have it applied to the new price.  For example, if you bought something for $50 and used a 15% off coupon, you would have paid $42.50.  If that same item is on sale for $47 4 days later AND the 15% off coupon has not yet expired, you would get a refund of $2.55.  That is the difference of your purchase price of $42.50 and the new final price of $39.95.



8.  Clearance runs 60, 70, 80 and then 90% off.  Just watch the tags as they will start clearance at 60% off and will continue to reduce the price until it is marked down 90% off.  (And don’t forget to use coupons and/or Kohl’s Cash to make your deal even sweeter)!


9.  Be careful of returns when you have earned Kohl’s Cash.  If you receive Kohl’s cash on a purchase and then later, decide to return that item, or even any other items purchased in the transaction, your return will be adjusted accordingly.  The reason is that people were cheating the system and buying lots of items, using the Kohl’s Cash and then returning them — which was totally a loss for the company.

So, if you spend $100 and earn $20 in Kohl’s cash and then return the $20 sweater in your bag, you may get nothing back.  In that case, it may be better to keep and donate or give it to someone else.


10.  You can return without a receipt.  If you shop using your Kohl’s card, returns are the simplest.  They can find any transaction on your card and make the return without any problems.  They often do not even require you to get store credit – they can put it right back on your card for you.

If you happen to shop with any other credit card, they can do the same thing — for a period of up to 12 months from your purchase.  They can scan your card and find the transaction that is attached to it and do the return.

If you do happen to shop using cash and need to make a return without a receipt, be prepared that you may not get the full purchase price you paid.  The reason is that if you can’t produce a receipt, they will offer you the lowest price for that item over the past 13 weeks + they assume you had at least a 15% discount.  So, if you paid $8 and it happened to drop to just $5 6 weeks later, you will only get $5 back.  So, if you pay cash — I recommend ALWAYS keeping those receipts!




11.  Kohl’s coupons are great – but there are exclusions.  Make sure you read the coupons carefully as many times there are exclusions to using them on items such as FitBit, Nike, Keurig KCups and more.  Most people think they can use them on anything, but they can not.

What you CAN do is use your Kohl’s cash toward the purchase of any items.  Nothing is excluded from that redemption.


12.   You can find Kohl’s coupon codes and rebates in one place.  So many times there are rebates offered on appliances, but how do you know which items qualify?  Simple!  You just visit THIS page on Kohl’s.com and find all of the rebates.  You will be able to access the forms and get all of the details you need to know about before you shop.

You can also find the current codes and promotions running at anytime on their Coupons and Offers page!  That is right HERE – so you have access to all of the promotions and codes you may need when shopping!

Senior Shopping Kohls

13.  55 or Older?  Save 15% on Wednesday.  That is Senior day at all locations.  You will automatically get that applied to your purchase at checkout – and you can still use other codes and Kohl’s Cash to increase the savings!!!


14.  Kohl’s Cash is always applied first when redeemed.  If you are redeeming your Kohl’s Cash and also happen to have an additional coupon to use, the Kohl’s Cash will be applied to your purchase first and then any additional discounts applied to your remaining balance.  Here is a quick example:

Purchase Total:  $87.24
Kohl’s Cash Redeemed:  $50
Net total:  $37.24
15% off coupon applied: -5.59
Final purchase total:  $31.65 (plus local sales tax)


15.  Returns can be done anytime.  This is a great feature when it comes to shopping at Kohl’s.  I will often buy my kids clothes when they are on sale – so I am ready for the following season.  However, there are times when they have outgrown them and never get a chance to wear them.  No problem!  I can take them back to Kohl’s and either return or exchange them as needed — even if has been 10 months since I made the purchase!



16. Make sure you are signed up for Kohl’s Yes to You Rewards.  This is such an easy way to get paid when  you shop. When you spend $100 or more, you will get a $5 reward.  That means every time you shop, you are earning 5% on your purchase!  They also send out great birthday offers and more to members – so it pays to get signed up (and best of all – it is FREE to join)!


17.  Use the registry for instant savings.  If you are getting married or having a baby, you will want to complete a registry.  You will get 10% off for doing just that.  Best of all, when someone buys at least one item on your list, you will get a coupon to save 15% off of a future purchase!


18. Know what to buy and what to avoid.  I typically find the best discounts for my family on kitchen, bath, toys and apparel items.  That is because in most cases, you can still use an additional coupon for greater savings.  I find that items like electronics, FitBit and Nike apparel and the like are not good buys – because you can’t use a coupon (however, they will apply towards your purchase to reach Kohl’s Cash – and you can redeem Kohl’s cash on any of them).

Just don’t fall for the coupon hype.  Do research and find out what the same item sells for at other store before you jump in and get it there.  It may not really be the best deal available.

Kohls Coupons via Text

19.  Sign up for emails and text alerts and save 15%!  Just text SAVE07 to 56457 and you will get a coupon to save 15% off of your next purchase!  You will also get some of those other great offers sent to you via text – so you never miss a chance to save!


What additional tips have you learned about when it comes to shopping at Kohl’s?  We will add them to our list (just leave the details in the comments below).

Visit College Ave Student Loans to Pay for College

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

college student loans


This is a sponsored post on behalf of College Ave Student Loans.  All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any parties.

College is expensive.  There is no denying it.  Many parents try to save to help defray the costs, but even then, it may not be enough.  With tuition, books and cost of living continually rising, you may think you have enough to pay for it, but may find that you are a bit short.  Where do you go for a loan?  You certainly do not just want to “Google” a site and apply through them.  No.  You want to make sure you visit a reputable site which is there to help you through the process.  That is what College Ave Student Loans does.

College Ave Student Loans is an online marketplace lender whose sole focus is on private student loans.  They utilize both  technology and deep industry expertise to connect families who need to cover education costs with lenders who can provide that funding.   Because they specialize only in student loans, they are are able to give all customers the attention they deserve and deliver loans that are simple, clear, and personalized.

When federal loans, scholarships and grants aren’t enough, private loans are something families can consider to help fill that gap to pay for higher education costs. College Ave Student Loans understands that each family’s situation is unique with how to cover additional college costs – whether they look at paying out of pocket, using savings, trying to find a balance for college and saving for retirement, doing a mix of different payment options, using private loans, etc. Families should explore the best option (or options) for them.

College Ave Student Loans never wants families to borrow more than they should, or to pay more than they need to for a loan They offer a number of lending tools to help students and families make smart and informed lending decisions.

If you are getting ready to pay for college, one tool that you really need to check out is the College Ave Student Loans calculator.  This tool is designed to help students and their families understand the total cost of borrowing and ways to save. College Ave encourages decisions like making in-school payments and picking shorter loan terms by offering lower interest rates when customers make those choices (thus reducing the overall total cost of the loan).

If you do find that you need to take out a loan to pay for college, one thing to consider is this:  Parents can help the students by making the payments while the student is in school.  Then, the student can take over once he or she has graduated.  This is a great way parents can contribute without taking on the entire debt in only their name.

College Ave also offers a unique credit pre-qualification tool. With three simple pieces of information (name, DOB, address), students and their parents can use the tool to find out if their credit score qualifies for the loan, and what rates they can expect to pay — all without filling out a full application or impacting their credit score. It’s a great tool for students, who are learning about how credit scores affect the loan, and for parents who want insight into what they should expect from us. You may wna to check out the pre-qualification tool.

Product Information

Before you make any decision regarding a lender, it is important that you understand their product.  Here are important factors which you should know about College Ave.

  • They offer low variable rates
  • They offer the most choices for when to begin making payments as well as the length of the loan (allowing you to get the perfect plan for your situation).
  • While students do not have to repay loans while in school, doing so can lower their cost.  They even reward those who make good choices by offering lower rates for committing to make in-school payments (payments could be as low as $25/month).
  • There is NO fee if you pay the loan back early.
  • Get a .25% interest rate reduction if you sign up for automatic payments
  • Apply in minutes and get a quick decision


No matter who you chose to go through to make your student loan decision, make sure you do your homework.  Learn what you can about the company and the terms of the loan, so you do not have any surprises.

Check out College Ave Student Loans to see if they are just what you need for your student.

Social Media Handles:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/College-Ave-Student-Loans/839132779472517
Instagram: https://instagram.com/collegeaveloans/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CollegeAveLoans

Couples & Money: Comparing Your Financial Situation to Others

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.



My partner is always comparing our finances to someone else’s.

What can I do to make my spouse focus on ours?

In the age of social media, we get a peek at how other people live. Everyone seems to have friends who take exotic vacations every year or have new cars every time we look at their profiles. Maybe your partner finds it hard not to wonder why the life you share isn’t full of adventures and expensive meals, and this leads to stress about your situation. Financial envy is a trap that can shake the foundation of your relationship.

How can you help your honey see the bright side? Remind him to keep some perspective. Online, everyone puts his or her best out there. You may see their renovated kitchen, but not the two years of overtime she worked to finally knock down the walls. Or, that friend with the new cars may also be carrying around tremendous debt. If it’s really causing a rift, talk to your partner about using his envy as motivation to pick up some extra hours or change his financial habits. After all, fortune favors the bold!

Tips to Save on Extra Curricular Activities for the Kids!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

While our kids would love to do every activity out there, it is just not possible.  We asked readers to share their ideas on how to save money on your kids' activities.

Are you a parent that loves to put your children in every summer camp possible? Or are you a parent of children who want to play every sport possible in school? While I’m sure we would love to be able to let the kids attend every camp and play every sport sometimes it’s just not possible, the one thing looming over the heads of many is a budget!

When you’re a parent of multiple children expenses can add up quickly. I’ve looked at several summer camps for my kids and they averaged between $75-$100 for the week! Some of those camps offered discounts for multiple children but not enough to make it worthwhile. $300 for one week of camp could be someones grocery money for the month! So how do you save on extra curricular activities for the kids?

We posted this question on our weekly Penny For Your Thoughts post on our Facebook page. Here are a couple of the tips which were shared by our readers.


“The last couple of years our daughter has wanted to attend a pricey theater camp. We presented the idea of making a deal – camp instead of a large birthday party. She went for it and even asked this year if we were going to have the same deal.” – Martha K.

“I search the free events happening in our area and try to attend as many of those as possible! It can get pricey when kids get involved but I think it’s important to keep them involved and active in extra curricular activities.” – Miranda R.


Sometimes speaking with your kids can give you solutions. If you truly don’t have the funds in your budget to allow for camps or sports, talk to your kids… See if there is something they could cut back on, or would be willing to give up to make their camp or sport realistic.

If you have multiple kids check for less expensive camps (1/2 days or only so many days a week) and check for multiple children discounts to help cut the cost as much as possible.

Make sure you watch Facebook each Monday for our newest question and share your ideas.  You may find your name and tip featured each week on Penny Pinchin’ Mom!


Couples and Finance: How to Set Financial Goals Together

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.



We’ve got goals.

Now, how can we most effectively save as a couple?


Once you’ve set a financial goal as a couple, be it renovations, a new vehicle or a vacation, you’re halfway there. No, really. Getting on the same page about finances is half the battle. Keep those same lines of communication open as you find new ways to approach your goal. Brainstorm what you can do, together and individually, to get closer to that goal. Is it time for a garage sale? Can you live without cable?


Consider creating a special joint account to give your money a place to grow. Several credit unions and banks allow you to name your accounts so you could label one ‘vacation’ or ‘dream home’ for extra inspiration. Each of you should put money from your monthly paychecks to put into this account. How much is up to you, but it should be related to how much you bring home. I’d recommend setting up automatic deposits this way the money is automatically transferred eliminating any desire you might have to spend it now.


Lastly, it’s important to revisit your goal(s) every few months. Life can change pretty quickly and you may need to make adjustments. However, if you and your partner are rolling with the changes together, nothing can slow you down.

Ten Simple Ways to Save Money on Back to School Clothes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

With all you have to buy at back to school time, you need to do what you can to save.  You have to check out these ten MUST KNOW tips to save money on  your Back to School Clothes!!

Back to school season is upon us.  It is time for back to school once again.  It is expected that the average family will end up spending  more than $670 on all of those supplies, clothing and other items that are needed.

While you know to shop the deals for the school supplies , what can you do to save on your kids’ clothes?  Simple.  We’ve got some easy tips you can follow below to help you get the most out of your school clothing budget!

Catch our FUN video sharing back to school planning with my own kids!!

1.  Shop at home first.  Before you head out, take a look at your child’s closet and drawers.  Have him or her try on those clothes to see if they still fit or not.  You might find that the shorts and tees will work for a while and you do not need to purchase those.  However, the tennis shoes may be completely worn out and you need to purchase them.

As you do this, make a list of what you need, including the sizes, so you know what to buy when you shop.  There is nothing worse than picking up a pair of jeans for your child, to realize that he or she did not only not need them, but you picked up the wrong size!

This might also afford you the chance to wait to shop.  If your child doesn’t need any new clothes to start the year, you might be able to wait for a month or so, which might help your budget!  There is no rule that says kids have to have all new clothes to start the school year out, right? 😉

We actually have a FREE Back to School Shopping List you can use.  Just print one out and fill it out for your kids.

school list

Download your FREE Back to School Shopping List

2.  Shop Thrift Stores.  You can sometimes find amazing items at second hand (or thrift) stores.  Sometimes, kids outgrown clothes long before they wear out.  This can be a great way to find some deals on items (especially if you need something for only a few months).

3.  Stay at Home.  Oftentimes, you can find online coupon codes to save on your purchase. If you are lucky enough, you may even score free shipping with either another code or by hitting a purchase minimum.  This not only helps you save money, but can help avoid those crowds (and even save on fuel costs).

It can also be great to order items for your kids to try on at home.  Then, if they do not fit, you can return them to your local store instead of mailing them back.  This way, you can get in and out of the store very quickly!  I’m all about spending as little time in a store as possible (avoids tempting impulse purchases).

4.  Put your Phone to Work.  There are many great apps you can download to help you find coupons and discounts.   One of my favorites is CouponSherpa.  They have retail coupons which you can pull up right at checkout. The cashier will scan your phone and you can save – without having to clip a thing before you leave!

5.  Shop The Sales Tax Holiday.  Many states offer a sale’s tax holiday to help reduce the burden to families.  We pay nearly 9% for sales tax where I live, so that can add up to significant savings when we shop over that weekend.  Find out if your state is participating by reviewing our 2015 Sales Tax Holiday List.

6.  Clothing Swap.  Find friends who have kids who might be a size larger or smaller than your kids and do a swap! You set up a swap party with your friends and ask each person to bring no more than 10 – 12 items.  Then, you all enjoy snacks and drinks, while you visit and catch up.  Then, you start taking turns and “shop” from what one another brings to the party.  This way, you get rid of clothes that do not fit and can go home with some which do!  You can then donate the left over articles to a thrift store or charity.

7.  Recycle Clothes.  Just because you have a short sleeved shirt doesn’t mean you can’t wear it in the winter.  Just add a long sleeved tee underneath and you’ve got something new for fall and winter!  It is a simple way to extend the life on a favorite shirt.

8.  Shop clearance/off season.  It is still warm outside (and will be for a few more months). Believe it or not, you can find clearance deals on shorts and tees, which is what your kids will start out wearing initially anyhow.  This is a great way to pick up a few items to start off the school year.  That also allows you time to see discounts and deals on the other items they might need later in the season.

9.  Always shop off-season.  This is one you might not be able to do right at this moment, however, when you shop ahead for the next season you can save.  For example, winter items are always put on clearance in January (which never makes any sense to me).  If you can find jeans, coats or other items, pick them up one or two sizes larger for your kids and hold onto them for the following winter.

10.  Keep your budget in check.  Sure, your kids might want the $150 sneakers, but if your budget is set at a $50, stick to it.  They might think it is the end of the world if they don’t have the best, but you need to make sure you don’t overspend.  If your child want something at a higher price than what you are willing to pay, you can always allow them to cover the difference.  They might just learn that they really don’t want that item as badly as they thought, when they have to cough up the cash for it.

What tips do you have to save on back to school clothes?

Catch our FUN video sharing back to school planning with my own kids!!

Money Questions For Couples: What Type of Debt Should We Pay Off First?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

weighing debt paydown options

What type of debt should my spouse and I pay off first?

The answer to this question depends on the type of debt you’re carrying. If you’re hauling around credit card debt at 15 to 18 percent interest, you need to pay that off pronto. Student, car and home loans need to be attended to as well, but the interest on these loans doesn’t hold a candle to credit cards. Carrying credit card debt or missing payments does a number on your credit score, too. If you have multiple cards or debts, use the snowball repayment method to figure out which to pay off first.

When you and your spouse are making a choice to pay off debt, it’s also important to remember that if you’re married, it’s not his debt or her debt; it’s your debt, together. You’re a team and punishing the other isn’t going to help the situation. Work together and you’re bound to see results sooner.

Couples and Money: What Type of Debt Should We Pay Off First?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

What debt should you tackle first?  We've got some tips from CommunityAmerica Credit Union!

Weighing our options.

What type of debt should my spouse and I pay off first?

The answer to this question depends on the type of debt you’re carrying. If you’re hauling around credit card debt at 15 to 18 percent interest, you need to pay that off pronto. Student, car and home loans need to be attended to as well, but the interest on these loans doesn’t hold a candle to credit cards. Carrying credit card debt or missing payments does a number on your credit score, too. If you have multiple cards or debts, use the snowball repayment method to figure out which to pay off first.

When you and your spouse are making a choice to pay off debt, it’s also important to remember that if you’re married, it’s not his debt or her debt; it’s your debt, together. You’re a team and punishing the other isn’t going to help the situation. Work together and you’re bound to see results sooner.