EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the start of the school year right around the corner, families are trying to cut costs where they can in order to afford classroom supplies.

Donna Sowa Allard of Sowa Financial Group tells 12 News now is the time for families to reassess their budgets. She suggested getting everyone involved, including the kids.

“Include everyone in the family in the budgeting process in some way,” she recommended. “When everyone understands the goals in your family, I think it makes the process more fun.”

By involving the entire family, Sowa Allard said it is much more likely that the budget will be successful.

Sowa Allard also said it will teach children financial literacy early on, which can help them in the long run.

“It helps them avoid going into debt when they are 18 and suddenly have the world of loans and credit cards available to them,” she said.

To get started, Sowa Allard recommended taking a look at all of the money flowing into the household and how it compares to the money being spent.

“Prioritize those expenses,” she said. “What are the needs and what are the wants? When you get to the wants, which of those are the most important?”

Sowa Allard said it’s important for the entire family to be on the same page when discussing spending habits. It’s also vital to keep an eye on how much money should be placed into savings.

“The ideal number is probably going to be between 15 to 20% of your income,” she said. “For some that’s not realistic, so I think it’s better to start small than with nothing at all.”