Back-to-School Made Easier: Tips for Starting Out Right

Before you know it, the sound of ringing bells will be heard in schools across South Carolina, marking the beginning of a new school year. While back-to-school time is an exciting transition, it can also be stressful for parents and their kids. Not only does it require shopping for supplies like pencils and notebooks, it also means adjusting to new teachers and new routines that can throw even the most peaceful households into disarray. With that in mind, here are a few tips parents can follow to help themselves — and their kids — prepare:

Break Old Habits

Transitioning from a summer schedule can be especially difficult if your kids have grown accustomed to staying up later and sleeping in longer. Ease your family into the new routine a few days or even a week before school starts. Schedule a time each evening to turn screens and lights off and set an alarm to get everyone ready for those earlier mornings. When it comes to getting used to the morning routine, practice makes perfect.

Take Inventory

Many schools give students a list of items they will need to begin the new school year, and chances are, your child may need a wardrobe update, too. But how many new purchases do you really need to make? Take time to gather and organize what you already have at home, so you won’t overdo it when shopping for back-to-school items and clothing. You could end up saving yourself a good bit of cash.

Look Beyond This Year

While preparing for this upcoming school year is important, it’s critical to make sure you’ll be equally ready for school in the future. Someday, instead of elementary or high school, you’ll be be preparing to send your child off to college. In fact, back-to-school time is a great reminder that you’re one year closer to off-to-college time. It’s also a great opportunity to get a head start on being off-to-college ready — and there’s no better way to do that than by starting to save for college now.

By enrolling in Future Scholar, South Carolina’s 529 College Savings Plan, you’ll be gaining a simple way to prepare for the future costs of a college education. The award-winning plan allows your money to grow tax-free. Plus, your contributions are eligible for a dollar-for-dollar tax deduction on your South Carolina income tax return. And by starting to save now, you can put compound interest to work for you. That means your account could grow much more if you start now instead of waiting even one year. That’s sure to make Future Scholar one of the most important items on your back-to-school list.

Sure, back-to-school time can be hectic, but saving for college doesn’t have to be. Just like gathering supplies in advance or getting used to waking up early, planning now for college expenses will help things go more smoothly for your whole family when the time comes.

For more tips on preparing for this school year and beyond, visit