Back to school is almost like a second New Years. Sure, the calendar year isn’t changing, but the end of summer vacation and the start of new grades—or even new schools—for kids is a much bigger deal.
So it’s a good time of year to take stock, set some goals, and maybe do some of the things that should be done at least once a year. Like what? Well . . .
Declutter Your Phone
How do phones fill up so quickly? Between the pictures and old apps, storage space can start to dwindle. So, a little phone TLC is in order—for your kid’s phones too. Backup all your data (and pictures!), make sure your phone’s OS is up to date, and go through app by app and delete the things that you don’t use anymore. Once you’re done all that, consider some new apps that’ll help with your day to day life. Like these time-management apps. Or these apps for back-to-school savings. And no matter what grade your kids are going into, we have some apps that can help with their studies.
Overhaul and Reset Your Passwords
The average person has 27 passwords, which is too many passwords. So now is a good time to sit down and go through them. Delete accounts you don’t need. Reset passwords that have stayed the same for more than a few years. Enable two-factor authentication on your most important accounts. Figure out which accounts you have linked to which email addresses. Is your bank still linked to your old Yahoo password that you’ve had since . . . well, forever? That could be a problem.
Think About Cutting the Cord
When your kids were vegging out in front of the TV this summer, were they watching something from your cable plan or were they watching Netflix? If you haven’t cut the cord, like millions of other Canadians, maybe it’s time to have that discussion with your family. There’s a number of questions you can ask yourself, but the big one is: can my family get our TV and movies over the Internet instead of via a cable package?
Set Limits on Screen Time
Back to school means prioritising school and homework over TV and video games, but it also means swimming lessons, after-school clubs, sports teams, and all the things you end up being a chauffer for. With so much going on, it’s a good time to re-examine your family’s rules about screen time. You can set curfews, designate no-screen days, and these other ideas. And keep in mind that screen time can affect sleep (for adults too), so it’s good to get on top of this stuff with a new school year starting.
Re-Examine Your Phone Plans
Now’s the perfect time to take a look at all your phone plans and see what kind of money you can save or what kind of upgrades you need. Keep in mind, if you have a child just starting junior high, it’s time to rethink how much texting and data you need.
The Bottom Line
The thing we love about back to school—aside from worrying about keeping the kids busy—is the chance at a new start. Get rid of the clutter from the past year, like old apps, an overloaded cable package, and ever-multiplying online accounts, and start the year fresh.