This weekend was a frenzy of activity in anticipation of the first day back to school. There were supplies that had to be purchased, a few new items to add to the kids’ wardrobes, forms to be filled out, etc. I’m a “List” person, which means I had a lot more on the list than usual to check off when all I really wanted to do is spend a relaxing day to officially end summer vacation with the kids.
Like many of you, the day-to-day job is year-round with no marking of a beginning and end of summer break. But also like many of you, our daily routines will be affected by this change of season. It will likely take 15-20 minutes longer to drive from home to work, with 15 MPH school zones and chaotic new bus routes impacting everyone’s commute.
Retail stores have been busier than usual ringing up last minute shoes, backpacks and school supplies. Even grocery stores were more packed than usual with the focus on school lunch items and snacks. Nearly every store is competing for business with sales and coupons on all of the back-to-school essentials. It should help boost South Florida retail sales.
From the consumers’ perspective, back-to-school purchases are quite a burden on household expenses, forcing people to put even more debt on their credit cards. In 2011-12, 60% of Broward County School students signed up for free or reduced price meals at school; sources indicate there could be more than 75% participation this school year. Another burden for some families is the discontinuation of afterschool programs through organizations like the YMCA. Several Broward schools informed parents just last week that they will no longer have after school care as an inexpensive option.
Parents want to provide for their children as best as they can, giving them a fresh start to their school year. If expenses and unemployment (or under-employment) are compromising your ability to provide for your family, consider making an appointment to discuss options for your own fresh start. Bigge & Rodriguez’s law practice is limited to Bankruptcy law and debt relief. We help families get that fresh start. By Robert J. Bigge, Jr., Esq.