5 Back-to-School Tips for Saving Money, Time & Mental Stress

Some back-to-school tips are everywhere: Set a time for homework. Pack lunches the night before. Be friendly! Here at Boys & Girls Club of Martin County, we’re sharing tips with a bit more weight.

1. Take Advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday

Florida’s 2017 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 4 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 6. During that time, you won’t pay sales tax on qualifying school supplies, clothing, shoes, personal computers and computer-related accessories. The items must be under specific cost limits and meet other criteria. For a complete list, be sure to visit the Florida Department of Revenue’s Tax Information Publication (TIP) before you shop.

Want to save money and help our club at the same time? Shop at the Bealls in Port Salerno or Jensen Beach and a portion of the sales will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Martin County!

2. Keep Social Media Friendly

Social media represents one of the biggest parenting challenges today. Most kids will find a way to get around rules, so the best approach is to arm them with information for making good decisions. Talk about what they shouldn’t share online and why they need to know the person they’re sharing with. If they’re comfortable coming to you with questions, you’ve won half the battle. (Visit the National Crime Prevention Council for more resources.)

3. Just Wait for the School Bus

Do you know when it’s legal to pass a school bus that is picking up or letting riders off? Drivers can pass only when a 5-foot barrier or median stands between your side of the road and the bus. Florida penalties can be hefty: An illegal left-hand pass could mean a $100 ticket the first time and, if within five years, a suspended license (3-6 months) next time. Double all those figures for an illegal pass on the right. Watch your speed in school zones, too; fines can be as high as $350.

Of course, the biggest risk is injury to a child or teen. Their movements are unpredictable, so make sure you keep your vehicle stopped until the bus is rolling again, and take it slow near schools. The time you spend may save a life! 

4. Use Your Feet, Pedals, Engines Carefully

No matter how you or your child gets to school, everyone shares responsibility for their own safety and that of each other.

  • Walkers: Use sidewalks and crosswalks where available, stop looking at your phone while you’re crossing a street and always walk on the side of the road where you’ll face traffic.
  • Bicyclists: You’re subject to the same rules of the road as other vehicles. Stop at stoplights and stop signs, signal for turns, and never ride in between vehicles.
  • Bus riders: Even a car driving 15 mph will cause serious injury if it hits you. Get on and off the bus and out of the roadway using the shortest possible route.
  • Teen Drivers: Be aware that other students are on the streets. Keep distractions to a minimum and watch your speed.

5. Learn the Three-Song Rule

OK, this tip may seem a little frivolous or funny on its face, but not when you think about morning battles for bathroom time. Play three upbeat songs while a family member is in the shower, then they must get out. The result will be lots of happy music and a shower with plenty of hot water for everyone!


The Boys & Girls Club of Martin County is celebrating its 26th year of “building great futures” in Martin County, enabling youth and teens to reach their full potential by staying on track to graduate, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and practicing healthy lifestyles. All donations are vital investments in the lives and the futures of our children. 


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