Budget Stylista: Bags So Cute You’ll Wanna Go Back to School

One of my earliest memories is my first day of first grade.
I don’t remember what I wore.
I don’t remember what my mom packed me for lunch (though I’m sure there was a Swiss Cake Roll in there).
But I remember exactly what my backpack looked like.

Magenta with bright blue and yellow pockets. I was one rockin’ 6-year-old. And just thinking about that bag makes me as happy as that day when I filled it with markers, construction paper and my Barbie lunch box.

There is something about back to school time, whether you’re entering first grade or freshman year, that is so exciting. You don’t want to do the work, you don’t want to sit in the classes, but still – you can’t wait for the first day of school. And don’t even get me started on school supply shopping. Heaven. On. Earth.

Every year, after the first K-Mart Back to School commercial aired, I’d start hounding my mom for a new backpack. I would spend days convincing her why I needed a brand new backpack and why the one from the year before wouldn’t cut it. Once I succeeded (or annoyed her to the point of mercy), I would spend days deciding what my backpack style would be for that year. Would I go with a cool messenger bag?
A Jansport?
A Kipling? (I always loved those monkeys)
Solid black or a bright color?

Such decisions!

While I don’t need to beg mi madre for a new bag anymore, I do still feel the urge to get something new and fabulous with every passing August. So, for that inner 6-year-old in you who still loves picking out what bag you’ll be dragging to your lecture or toting all your books in late night to the lib,  here are some cute, versatile, affordable bags, totes, messenger bags and laptop bags for you.

Don’t forget your scratch-and-sniff markers and your Lisa Frank Folders, obvi.

Top Row (left to right): Gap, $39.50; Old Navy, $22.99; Target, $12.99.
Middle: Target, $50.99; Urban Outfitters, $50; Urban Outfitters, $58 (can be worn as a backpack or a messenger!).
Bottom Row: CoolComputerBags.com, $49.99; Delia’s, $29.50; CoolComputerBags.com, $79.99.

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