Bankruptcy Blog

Free Back to School Supplies Guide for Every Grade

Free Back to school supplies guide for every grade

It’s back to school season my friends. If you have kids in school, then you know about this lovely time. The school lists are out and you need to head out to get supplies if you haven’t already. What happens if you don’t get a school list though? Do you know what school supplies you will need to purchase in order to be ready for the first day?

Since my son goes to school in a few weeks, I figured I would look around for a good guide based on the grades. I didn’t see one I liked, so that’s why I created a back to school supplies list. The best part is this breaks down by grade for you, so you only have to look for the grade your child is in. Let’s make back to school shopping a little easier!

With the help of school supply lists on Amazon, you can locate and understand what you need to bring for each grade. These lists do not include clothing or even backpacks. We know we need something to carry school supplies in, so make sure to get a backpack.

The two places doing the best deals are going to be Walmart and Amazon. These two are huge sites to score back to school deals each and every year. Also, don’t forget to sign up for Ebates in order to get cash back when you shop.

Without further ado, here are the suggested back to school shopping lists*. You can also click the grades below to go to the appropriate section.

Pre-K through 2nd Grades | 3rd Grade | 4th through 6th Grade | 7th and 8th Grade | 9th through 12th Grades

*If you need these to go shopping, here is an easy downloadable version.

Pre-K Through 2nd Grade

Since these four grades don’t require a different variety of supplies, so we are going to push them together. Depending on your school, you might not need to get many supplies, but here are what we suggest for these four grades. These back to school supplies are the basics to get any child through the year. You can probably get away with the bare essentials here. You can also use the links below to shop for all the supplies for each grade (the quality increases as the grades go up).

Pre-K  |  Kindergarten  |  1st Grade  |  2nd Grade


3rd Grade

While some of the supplies are similar to the lower grades, here are a few more additions to the list to help you get prepared for the step up to 3rd grade. There are 21 suggested items for this grade, so hopefully these help. If your supplies from lower grades are still usable, then bring them with your child. No need to purchase stuff you really don’t need when the other works just fine.  Click here to shop for all these on one page.

4th through 6th Grade

The kids are growing up so fast and now it’s time to get more supplies! While the basics are still the same as other grades, you will need to upgrade once you hit fourth grade to better and more durable supplies. The notable differences here are different styles of pens and more math geared supplies, such as protractors. The calculators might be a little fancier as well, but that depends entirely on the school and the teacher. If you can find a good deal on a calculator that can be used in multiple grades, then get it!

If you want to find products that match each grade closely, then use the links below. Otherwise, you can check out the products and choose what you need.

4th Grade  |  5th Grade  |  6th Grade


7th and 8th Grade

This is basically middle school for most public school systems. While they tend to start at 6th grade, the supplies and technology doesn’t change until they get near the end of middle and head off to high school. While your state may be slightly different, the supplies for these two grades are very similar. You can check out the links below for each individual grade as the quality and functions of the products may change depending on the grade.

7th Grade  |  8th Grade

9th through 12th Grade (High School)

High school is not much different when it comes to supplies. Where this grade level differs in the types of materials you need. The calculators probably need to be graphing style (most likely a TI version) and the binders and notebooks bigger. You also might need to get other books for each class. If you do need to buy books, make sure you check out, which offers used and rental books for much cheaper than purchasing one.

9th Grade  |  10th Grade  |  11th Grade  |  12th Grade

Obviously this isn’t an extensive back to school shopping guide, but we hoped to give you the necessities you would need for your child’s grade. We hope this helps you make that back to school shopping trip just a little easier.

If you’re like me, then you’ll be doing most of your shopping online. I’ll be hitting up Amazon to make my life a little easier. With Prime shipping, I’ll have my son’s school supplies at my door in two days. I can beat the rush at the store and just make life much easier.

I’ll call that a win!

The post Free Back to School Supplies Guide for Every Grade appeared first on Debt RoundUp, the content owner.

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Next Week in Bankruptcy

Gawker Media Group will head to bankruptcy court Monday in hopes of putting itself up for sale following a crippling legal judgment.

The media company will ask the Manhattan bankruptcy court to sign off not only on its sale timeline, but also the stalking horse, or lead, offer from Ziff Davis LLC.

Gawker, which publishes blogs under the banners of Gizmodo, Jalopnik and Jezebel, filed for bankruptcy earlier this month with a $90 million offer from Ziff Davis, the digital-media company and magazine publisher. The offer, however, is subject to higher bids. Gawker has mapped out a timeline that calls for other offers by July 27, and if needed, an auction to be held on July 29.

The sale has already faced opposition from Hulk Hogan. Lawyers for the former professional wrestler, whose real name is Terry Bollea, recently filed a challenge to the sale plan, saying it would unfairly trade away potentially valuable legal rights that could ultimately boost Gawker creditors’ payout at the end of the bankruptcy. Mr. Bollea is a key creditor in Gawker’s bankruptcy proceeding because he won a $140 million judgment against Gawker and Chief Executive Nick Denton in a privacy lawsuit.

Also Monday, teen retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. will ask the Wilmington, Del., bankruptcy court to move its bankruptcy proceedings along. The teen retailer is specifically seeking approval to put its reorganization plan to a creditor vote.

Only unsecured creditors owed roughly $60 million will be allowed to vote on the plan. Some creditors within that group, owed between $11 million and $22 million, are expected to recover up to 3.6% of what they are owed under the plan.

PacSun filed for bankruptcy in April after negotiating a restructuring deal with private-equity lender Golden Gate. The company has agreed to swap 65% of the $88 million in debt it is owed for equity in the restructured company, subject to rival bids; none were received.

Golden Gate has also agreed to invest $20 million in the reorganized retailer.

-Peg Brickley and Tom Corrigan contributed to this article.

Write to Lillian Rizzo at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @Lilliannnn

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Budgeting Templates in Excel – My Favorite Tool

budgeting templates in excel

Here I go mentioning the “B” word again. Let me get out in front of it and say I love using budgeting templates in excel to manage my money. An excel template was the primary tool my family and I used for over four years to track our $100K debt repayment progress. We still use…

The post Budgeting Templates in Excel – My Favorite Tool appeared first on Debt Discipline.

Budgeting Templates in Excel – My Favorite Tool was first posted on October 28, 2019 at 6:00 am.
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Higher Education | Adler Law Firm PLLC

Higher Ed Law Firm Takes on Bankruptcy Trustees in Tuition Battles

The law firm that has bailed colleges and universities out of NCAA athletic-compliance trouble is getting dragged into the bankruptcy courtroom, where fights are increasingly breaking out over tuition payments.

The Bond, Schoeneck & King firm is representing several colleges that face demands to return tuition payments made by a student’s parents. That money, court-appointed bankruptcy officials argue, should have paid off the parents’ own bills.

The disputes have put repayment pressure on at least 49 colleges and universities, according to a Wall Street Journal tally. Skidmore College officials, for example, hired Bond lawyers to help them keep $87,807 that a Georgia mother paid for her daughter’s education at the private college in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Bond lawyers have worked for more than 100 colleges and universities that need help on matters such as complying with NCAA rulebooks, negotiating professor contracts and reading the fine print of grants. The firm is “stocked with former NCAA investigators,” according to a New York Times article published in 2007 that traced the niche to the academic fraud scandal at the University of Minnesota’s men’s basketball team.

“We do a tremendous amount of higher education work,” said lawyer Stephen Donato, who co-leads the firm’s bankruptcy practice.

But will the higher ed expertise help them in the tuition disputes?

The bankruptcy judge who is handling a lawsuit against Ithaca College, which was sued in January to return $95,727 for a Connecticut woman’s debts, made it clear that the work won’t be easy.

During a hearing last month, Ithaca College’s local lawyer had begun to raise the popular defense that society expects parents to pitch in for pricey schooling costs these days, but U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Ann Nevins cut them off.

“I’m not happy about these education cases, but there are plenty of folks who can’t afford to send their children to college, and there doesn’t seem to be a constitutional right to send your child to college, as much as some folks would like there to be,” she said during a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hartford, Conn.

In the courtroom, colleges face bankruptcy trustees who have the power to take back money that a bankrupt person spent several years before filing for protection if a trustee finds that the person didn’t get “reasonably equivalent value” for that expense. In the case of a child’s tuition payment, the filer didn’t get the value for the expenditure—the child did.

At least one other school called in a prominent law firm for help in this precinct. Johnson & Wales University hired the Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr law firm to defend the private, Rhode Island-based college in a lawsuit over $46,909 in tuition, which was paid by a Connecticut couple for their daughter’s education.

The hiring signals that colleges are ready for a fight—a shift from their usual strategy. Historically, colleges have opted to settle the disputes quietly using small law firms or their own in-house counsel.

But bankruptcy experts predict more of these lawsuits to come as college costs rise and more parents chip in to help their kids. Four judges who have written opinions on the issue were split, and several others have hinted that a fresh ruling is needed to clear up the rules.

Congress could beat the judges to it. Less than a week after The Wall Street Journal’s first report on the lawsuits, Rep. Chris Collins (R., N.Y.) introduced a bill that would block bankruptcy trustees from filing lawsuits against universities and college students to recover tuition money that had been paid years before.

Write to Katy Stech at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @KatyStech

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Economy | Adler Law Firm PLLC

Democratic Presidential Candidates Plan to End Student Debt Crisis

It’s impossible not to notice that student loan debt has emerged as a big issue in the campaigns for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominations. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren brought it to the forefront in the spring of 2019 when she proposed a plan to forgive a large portion of the more than $1.5 trillion […]

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savings | Adler Law Firm PLLC

How to Overcome a Spending Problem

How to overcome a spending problemDo you have a spending problem? I do. The thing is, it’s not always easy to recognize a spending problem. Some of us have one and don’t even realize it.

That’s because being human means that it’s hard for us to see our own issues — even if they’re things that might be obvious to an outsider.

So before we get into possible ways to overcome a spending problem, let’s talk about how to identify one.

Keep in mind that having a spending problem is not necessarily the same as having compulsive shopping disorder or a spending addiction.

It’s broader than that. The good news is, it doesn’t have to stop you from getting out of debt or reaching your financial goals.

Signs of a spending problem

So how do you know when you have a spending problem? The most obvious signs show up in your finances.

You probably have a spending problem if you should have more than enough money each month to pay all of your bills but:

  • You’re living paycheck to paycheck, spending all of your money before your next payday comes
  • You’re living beyond your means (meaning you’re using credit or loans to buy things because you don’t have the cash right now — even though you know how to budget)
  • You don’t know how much money you owe on your credit cards, and don’t remember what you bought with them
  • You’re only making minimum payments on your debts, even though in theory you should be able to send extra toward at least one of them
  • When you do add up how much you’ve spent, you’re surprised at the total
  • You’re not meeting your financial goals due to overspending
  • You have any of the signs of a compulsive shopper or a spending addiction

Did you recognize yourself anywhere on the list?

If so, that’s a step in the right direction. You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken, so recognizing that you have a spending problem is the very first step toward making a change.

While I’m no longer in debt, and I do have money in savings and am setting aside money for retirement each month, I am still regularly surprised at how much I’ve spent. And I don’t like how much I’ve spent.

So I’ve still got issues in that area — mainly due to impulsiveness & boredom. But, I’ve managed to overcome the worst of it, and it’s no longer causing problems with my money. Chances are you can do the same.

How to overcome a spending problem

Here are some ways to overcome a spending problem. (Of course, if you have an addiction or a compulsion, get help from a competent mental health professional.)

It starts with recognizing that you have a spending problem, and then takes a little digging. See if it manifests itself in impulsiveness, in particular areas, or if it’s more generalized.

That way you can decide what actions might help you most. Let’s start with impulse buys first, since many spending problems are related to those.

If your spending problem is related to impulse buys…

Impulse buys are huge causes of overspending. You see something cool that you just have to have (even though you didn’t want it at all 5 minutes ago).

Or you get bored and want to go do something. You know, something fun like going out to eat, to the movies, to the mall, on a trip, or whatever.

If you know that you’re like that (and I am) set up a system to protect you from yourself:

How to stop yourself from overspending on impulse buys

To get your spending problem in check in this case, try the following:

1. Create a checklist to use before spending money.

Keep the list with you, and get in the habit of referring to it before spending money. For example, your checklist could have items like this on it:

  • Is this a planned purchase?
  • Did I want this before I heard or saw an ad for it?
  • Do I have the money for it already?
  • If I buy this, will I still be able to buy or do the other things I need and want?
  • Do I have an item like this already or I have I done something similar recently?
  • How many times per month will I use this?
  • Could I borrow this from someone instead?
  • Can I wait to buy this next week?

Just answering those questions will slow you down and start the thought process. If you still want the item after that, commit to waiting at least 24 hours before you spend the money. (Even if you’re happy with all of your checklist answers.)

2. Enlist the help of a family member or friend.

Find someone who will hear you out and then tell you no and talk you down. This should be someone who can also remind you of your real goals (whatever those might be.) Then call that person whenever the unplanned urge to spend comes on. Make sure they know you asked them to remind you of what you said you’d rather be doing with your money.

3. Set up an automated savings plan.

If you’re just not saving enough because you spend first, set up an automated savings plan. You can do this a couple of ways. If your workplace offers direct deposit, have a set amount each paycheck sent to a (hard to access) savings account. Or you can set up an automatic transfer to savings that goes into effect ASAP each time your paycheck makes it into your checking account. Note: If you find yourself constantly transferring from savings to checking despite this plan, definitely work on your budget.

Of course, you can also work on whatever might be behind your problem with impulse spending. (For me having ADHD plays a big part.)

If your spending problem shows up only in specific areas

If you’re spending problem only shows up in specific areas, look to see what’s behind it. Then challenge yourself to fix the underlying issue.

There are three specific areas that I’ve noticed people often mention as problem areas, so I’ll cover those here next.

If you’re spending too much money eating out

You might find that you’re spending way too much money eating out. Think about why you’re doing that.

Do you hate to cook? Are you bored? Do you think that you have too much to do? Do you like to spend time with family & friends, and are meals out the way you normally do that?

Make your own list of why you eat out a lot, and then think of possible solutions.

Some ideas to change things might be taking up a new (less expensive!) hobby, get another family member to do the cooking, eliminate 20 minutes of TV or computer time per day to give yourself more time to cook, notice that it actually takes longer to drive somewhere and eat out vs cooking at home, set a specific amount to spend each month on meals out, eat less expensive places, get water instead of buying drinks, etc.

If you spend too much on the kids

Or maybe you’re spending too much money on child-related expenses such as clothes, toys, and activities. Again, step back and take a realistic look at what you’re doing, and why you might be doing it.

Do the kids or grandkids really need new clothes on a monthly basis? Are their rooms overflowing with things to do? Is their schedule packed? Are you trying to show your love because you want them to have whatever they desire?

Set limits for yourself ($40 on clothes per month, for example, or one activity per child) and then follow them. Also, know that while a child may say (and truly feel) that they want the latest must-have item, chances are they will not even remember those things when they grow up. Unless they never get any of them of course, which would not be the problem in this case.

What they WILL remember is the time you spent with them. Running errands with them, talking or texting with them online, even getting physical letters from you or spending time at your house. Think back to your own childhood. Is it THINGS that you remember, or people? Know that you can show your love AND still reach your financial goals. While being a good role model for money.

If you only spend too much when you do certain things…

This is related to impulse buys, which I talk about above, but it can be more specific too IF the only time you only spend more than you intend is when you do certain things.

For example, maybe you only overspend when you:

  • See an ad online
  • Get a catalog in the mail or a coupon in your email
  • Go to the hundred dollar store (aka Target)

In those cases, the solution is pretty simple. Install an ad blocker, cancel the catalogs you’re already getting and get on the do mail list, unsubscribe from the offer emails, and avoid the stores that trigger you.

You will save a WHOLE lot more by not buying than you ever would by spending on “deals”.

If your spending problem is more generalized

If you tend to overspend in many areas, strangely enough that may actually be easiest of all to resolve.

Chances are you need to start tracking your spending, for starters. (At least use something like Mint if the thought of doing it yourself with a piece of paper makes you shudder.)

Then LOOK at your spending regularly. Daily at first, in fact. NOT at the end of the month. The purpose of looking at your spending is not to beat yourself up or feel bad. It’s to decide whether or not you got enough value, or would have rather used the money for a bigger goal instead.

It sounds simple, but “just” paying attention can make a huge difference. You’ll have a whole lot more of those “wow I spent more than I meant to” moments. That will give you more opportunities to stop the spending on the things that don’t matter to you.

Ideally, you’ll also want to set up a spending plan. Knowing what you want to spend your money on will help you to say no to those spur-of-the-moment things that aren’t on your list. Budgeting really is your friend.

Success with overcoming your spending problem is possible

Once you begin to experience some success, you’ll start to see the benefits of getting your spending problem under control, and you’ll likely get better and better at it.

The important thing is to keep at it, and to get help if you need it or continue to struggle. You CAN overcome your problem with spending!

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halloween-illustration | Adler Law Firm PLLC

How to See Scary Savings on Halloween Costumes

Halloween Costumes

It’s that time of year again! Time for the kids to start begging for all of the newest and coolest bloody weapons of choice and princess costumes. Yep, it’s Halloween time again! I personally am not a huge fan of this holiday due to the fact that it can get ridiculously expensive.  All so that they can dress up for one night and get all the candy in the world to rot their teeth out and assist with the continuation of childhood obesity and diabetes. I know, that’s the frugal part of me as well as the holistic health advisor. So I have to rein that in and remember the amount of fun that I had as a child dressing up on Halloween to go Trick-or-Treating.

Once I have gotten into the proper state of mind, the begging to go to the Halloween Store and Target are easier to handle. So we took the plunge yesterday and took them all shopping to get some ideas.


One of my favorite places to search for costumes first is the clearance section. Here is where you can find some of the more generic costumes or costumes that aren’t as popular this year. Finding something that the kids are interested in and that happens to be the right size is the challenge here. Although, I can tell you that 1 out of the 5 kids got a costume from that particular section yesterday and for under $10!

The older ones were not as easily persuaded on the costumes in this section though, and that could be where the battle comes in. Not all kids can be persuaded that they want to be the generic Ninjago or Medieval Princess.


Something that we end up doing every year is heading over to one of the local craft stores to see what we can find to embellish or create a costume. Usually we are looking for things like fabric, glitter, glue, wings, face makeup, etc. More often than not, Michaels and Jo-Ann Stores have Halloween related items on sale and prominently located when you walk into the store. This is immensely helpful because it makes it easier to find what we need without scouring the store.

Not only are their Halloween themed items on sale, usually up to 50% off, but I have found that they usually also have coupons you can use also. Currently at Jo-Ann Stores  you can get a coupon on their website for 50% off one regular priced item or if you order online and have everything you need shipped you get 25% off every regular priced item on your order plus $2.99 shipping. That could end up being a pretty sweet deal depending on what you are looking for. Michaels has the same coupon for 50% off one regular priced item on their website too, so they are being equally competitive.

We had to go to Jo-Ann yesterday, after leaving the Halloween Store, to get the glue and glitter required by our own design for my daughter’s Fire Angel costume that she made up in her head. I do love this type of creativity! We bought a pair of white velvet wings that came with a white halo at the Halloween Store and then glittered them up to look like fire (spray adhesive is my new best friend when it comes to applications like this). She has a red dress that she is going to wear, so that didn’t cost any money. Between the wings, halo, glue and glitter the total cost for her costume was $19.36! I was happy that it ended up being under $20 and we still have a ton of glitter and glue left, so that is a big bonus.


This is my favorite category to live in. I love to reuse and recycle anything and everything. This is where you have to put on your creativity hat sometimes. Take stock of what clothes and shoes you have in your closet, kids and parents alike. Is there anything that you can use for an entire costume, or even part of one, that may work for your needs without having to purchase anything new? If you can’t seem to find everything you need at your house then consider going to a local second hand store, like Goodwill, because there are a plethora of gems hiding in there and for so much cheaper than purchasing new. If you aren’t sure where to go near you, then definitely check out because they are the only national thrift store directory in the world.

We are using an existing dress for my daughter, so that is one done. One of the boys was a grim reaper last year and I kept the costume (of course!) so we are using that for one of the other boys this year. I only needed to purchase him a new scythe because the other one got inadvertently broken in half by horseplay. One of the other boys decided that he wanted to be wolverine, which was what one of the other kids had been in a past year also, so we are reusing the mask and weeding through clothes to come up with an outfit to match.

Overall, for our 5 kids, we have spent a total of $76.17. Now of course this is still more than I would like to spend because I am frugal. But we have 5 kids! That math equates to $15.23 per kid. I can’t really argue with spending less than $20 per kid on a Halloween costume. Next year maybe we can reuse even more of them!

What tricks or treats have you saved money on Halloween costumes for your children?

How to find Scary savings on Halloween costumes

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