Credit Counselling Society

September 05, 2007 11:12 ET


How to survive without breaking the bank account

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Education Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor NEW WESTMINSTER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, PSA--(Marketwire - Sept. 5, 2007) - Over 5 million students across Canada from age 5 to 17 will return to school this week. According to the Retail Council of Canada 37% of Canadians will spend an average of $353 for back to school supplies and clothing. For some families this cost, and other expenses associated with the return to school, can create a strain on the budget.

According to Julie Jaggernath, Community Education Co-ordinator for the Credit Counselling Society, "Many people face a budget challenge at this time of year and rely on credit to pay for school expenses." Jaggernath notes, "Then they start feeling overwhelmed as they continue to use credit to pay for other expenses like sports fees, birthdays and upcoming holidays." She suggests these five easy tips to help survive the busy back to school time:

* Set aside money each month for clothing and school fees. Then you can pay cash instead of relying on your credit card.
* Don't get caught up in the hype to buy everything for back to school all at once. Buy some clothing now and the rest as the kids need it over the fall and winter.
* Plan ahead and organize snacks to save time and money. You'll be sure to make healthier choices and avoid paying for cafeteria lunches or fast food.
* Get the kids involved in how to spend money wisely. By planning ahead the kids will know what they need to save for and can contribute to some extra-curricular expenses like ski equipment, a new bike or a school field trip.
* Make it a family goal to save money for a special event. Establish a goal and set up a jar or tin for loose change or money from empty bottle returns. At the end of the year you'll be surprised by how much you can collect towards that family vacation or to purchase something everyone can enjoy. Saving money specifically for these expenses can leave other money available to cover essentials.

The Credit Counselling Society provides free workshops throughout the year at their head office in New Westminster. The next workshop is scheduled for September 18th, 2007 at 5:45pm. They also work with community groups to offer workshops throughout the Lower Mainland. The next Credit 101 workshop is scheduled for September 26th, 2007 at 7:00 pm at the Terry Fox Library in Port Coquitlam. For more details on the 2007 schedule and to register, visit

About the Credit Counselling Society
The Credit Counselling Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families find solutions to their debt and money problems. They provide free credit counselling and confidential guidance for debt repayment and credit education to consumers across Canada. The Credit Counselling Society is federally registered as a Canadian Charitable Organization and licensed in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. For more information or money management tips, visit or call 1.888.527.8999.

Contact Information

  • Scott Hannah, Credit Counselling Society
    Primary Phone: 604-636-0211
    Secondary Phone: 604-527-8999
    Toll-Free: 888-527-8999