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August 16, 2022

With the school year off to a roaring start, it’s time to settle in and plan for a smooth year. You’re sure to experience some bumps and hurdles along the way, but the right plan will help you face those challenges head-on. One of the first steps is to start with a school calendar. So, get ready to dig in while we serve up some of our best expert tips to make this school year shine.

Plan for Extracurricular Activities and Incidentals

There are many extracurricular activities to keep your kids’ interests flowing, from basketball to surfing. How to manage them all is another matter.

Review School Calendars

Stay ahead of activities, events, training, and more with school calendars. They map out all the important dates you need to stay on top of, including testing dates, school holidays, and special dates for all those extracurricular activities.

Assess Personal and Other Needs

Field trips and activity costs add up, and they aren’t the only things. You’ll need to replenish some school supplies throughout the year and replace worn clothes or shoes.

Create an inventory of your and your child’s personal needs and other essentials you expect this year. Review your budget to decide how to best squeeze in these necessities.

Plan Ahead of Needs

When planning for personal and other needs, take a “think ahead” rather than a “wait and see” approach. Waiting until unplanned costs arrive can quickly place you in a financial bind.

Start a sinking fund category in your budget for these items. Add to the fund each pay period, and you’ll have the cash for expenses as they come up. Best of all, you won’t need to rely on your credit card.

Teach Kids Financial Literacy

Teaching your kids about money is more important than ever. We want our children to grow into thriving adults who can stand up to and overcome virtually any financial obstacle. The sooner they learn smart money moves, the more prepared they’ll be to meet the future.

Use Age-Appropriate Resources 

There are many ways to teach your kids about finances. First, consider their age and level of understanding. Even young kids can grasp simple concepts like saving for something special, such as a toy or game they’ve been wanting. Let young kids help manage short grocery lists. Explain basic budget and savings goals.

Start a Youth Savings Account

Put savings into perspective with your kids by starting a youth savings account and let them see how their money grows. Create savings goals, but always move the target further each time. Challenge them to reach ambitious yet achievable objectives.

Add Share Certificates

As your child’s savings grows, consider other ways to help them save money while protecting their financial future. One way to do this is by adding share certificates, which offer higher dividend rates than regular savings accounts. To maximize dividends, teach your child to leave their money untouched in the share certificate account over the full term.

Teach Older Teens About Money

Older teens preparing for adulthood require more advanced financial resources. They’ll soon need to manage their savings, checking accounts, and credit cards. In addition, they’ll need to know how to plan a reasonable budget, pay off personal loans, and save for cars, houses, vacations, and more. Start them on the right foot with financial education resources that speak to these needs.

Advocate for Financial Education in Schools

Teaching kids financial literacy shouldn’t be limited to what you can do at home. Many resources are free and available to teachers and schools, but not all educators know about them.

Advocate financial literacy training within your child’s school. Not only does this help your child, but it also helps prepare other children for a brighter future.

Encourage Kids’ Organizational Skills

Financial literacy and managing a budget are essential, but there’s something else no parent can afford to do without — organization. The right tools and resources won’t matter if your child forgets homework assignments at home or school.

Disorganization creates disruptions for you and your child. Setting the right expectations may not solve every problem, but it’s a start.

Set Homework Expectations

Kids do better with regular routines. They know what to expect and when to predict specific outcomes. Set reasonable homework expectations.

Establish rules surrounding when your child should complete homework and when they can do fun activities. Have a dedicated quiet space at home with access to basic supplies where your child can do their homework or study for tests.

Limit Screen Time

Limit screen time to two hours a day. Too much screen time interrupts homework and learning. It also disrupts sleep quality and quantity when children engage in screen time during the evening or nighttime hours.

Ensure Adequate Sleep

Depending on age, your child needs 8-12 hours of sleep each night. Younger kids need more rest than older kids. A consistent bedtime routine that gives kids enough sleep sets them up for success the next day.

Plan Nutritious Breakfasts

Not everyone is a breakfast person. We get it, but kids need something substantial to maintain their focus on learning. Choose foods high in protein or complex carbs — a bowl of oatmeal with nuts, fruit with yogurt, or something similar. These items will stick with your child for longer.


Make this school year great. Start with a plan and a budget. Don’t forget to create a sinking fund for the little things that are certain to pop up. Teach your kids about money and set helpful expectations and routines. With the right tools and resources, you’ll equip yourself and your child for a successful year.