It’s Back to School Time!

Back to School Season is the second most ‘organizationally focused’ time year — second only to the New Year.

Why? Because the start of the school year doesn’t just represent a fresh start for your children; it also means a return to normalcy for harried moms and dads. Many of you have probably given up your regular routines for the last three months to adapt to the more free form summer schedules of your children. Now it is time to get everyone (including you) back on a schedule. It also represents an excellent time for you to schedule some much needed time for yourself. So as the air turns crisp, the kids head back to school, and the pace of life picks back up once again — use this period of transition to make a fresh start.

Sarah on ‘Covering the Basics’

‘You wouldn’t let your child go months without a checkup, and the same should hold for you. This time of year is the perfect time to schedule those doctor’s appointments: general physicals, dental work, mammograms, and a skin cancer screen. The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Olay, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) and Marcia Cross have joined together to enable women to get a free skin cancer screening — go to to locate a participating dermatologist in your area. If you do have health insurance, you’ve probably already paid your deductible by this point in the year, so take advantage of the fact that these appointments will be covered if you have them before the end of the year.’

Alicia on ‘Don’t Forget Mom Time!’

‘Driving the kids all over town and being the PTA president does not count for ‘me’ time. Carve out some time in the coming hectic fall and winter schedules for a little down time for yourself. You might want to consider joining a local volleyball, basketball, or indoor soccer league for some group exercise. There are plenty of these sports through local recreation centers or private clubs. You’ll make new friends and release some competitive spirit each week. Or if you’re craving something a little more cerebral, sign up for lessons through a music society, art club or look on Or simply schedule regular catch-up times with good friends.’

Here a few tips to help you start fresh this new school year.

#1 Make a Deal:

With gas prices soaring and the economy on weak legs, retailers are desperate for a sales boost and willing to do a lot to woo you to show with them for back to school items. According to the Wall Street Journal, the back-to-school season is the industry’s second-biggest selling period after Christmas. Stores like Wal-Mart, JC Penny, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Target get aggressive with their marketing when back to school time rolls around. Keep your eyes peeled on the circulars and online for significant deals, like $0.10 packs of crayons and deals on clothing and electronics. Also be sure to keep those back to school receipts organized in one spot – we recommend the Receipt.catcher ( If you buy something at full price only to see it go on sale the next day (or week), you can often bring in the receipt and get a store credit for the difference.

#2 Ready, Set — Save:
Nothing motivates children (and grownups) like a little healthy competition. Give each child over the age of eight a budget for back to school items. Have each of them search for the best deals on everything on their list. The child that is most under budget can pocket the difference or win a special prize. That way — they do the legwork. And as an added bonus, you’ll likely avoid the arguments over ‘wants’ vs. ‘needs.’

#3: Pick Three!
Make just three commitments to things you will do now to improve your life. Whether it is eating better, exercising, or spending time with friends, now is the perfect time to take care of you.