Back to School Preparation

Back to School Preparation

Ok – I know it is 85 and sunny and you are enjoying your summer. But – the time to prepare for “Back to School” is now! Don’t wait until August 25th! Lots of stores are holding their sales NOW!

If you have created a spending plan, you have a savings category for clothing and school expenses. If you don’t have a plan, now is the time to make one. You have 6 weeks before school begins – you can spread out the costs for all the items you will need to purchase between now and that first day of school.

To prepare for this big event, the first thing you need to do is inventory your child’s clothes and school supplies. Next, write down exactly what is necessary for each child, then compare your two lists and create an efficient shopping list to work from.

Each school has a listing of what each student will need. Look over the list and see what can be passed down from older children. Specific items that must be purchased can be done according to your budget. If you allow enough time, you won’t have to pay for everything out of 1 or 2 paychecks. Take advantage of store layaway programs to pay for items without using credit.

Rummage sales are a potential resource for clothing and shoes. The thrift shops are another good option. Watch the weekly ads for sales at department stores. Coupons can help as well as knowing which days the sales run on.

Help your children learn how to manage money. Let them know the amount of your budget for certain items. Allow them to help make choices while learning how to stay within the limits. The amount of control your child is given is based on their age and maturity. Start with single items and as the child matures in their decision making, give them more responsibility. The ultimate goal is to create good money managers. You may find that a child who has demonstrated good money management skills may be given their entire Back to School budget and left on their own to purchase the items that they will need. Children are no different than adults. If we don’t have a limit on how much we can spend, we want everything. Once we understand our boundaries, better choices can be made.

Make sure to keep a written total of how much you spent this Back to School season. This information will be invaluable to you as you determine how much you will need for next year. Revise your spending plan figures in September, to insure that next year’s Back to School season will be financially stress free. If you don’t have your spending plan in place yet, don’t wait! Twelve months goes by quickly. The things we can plan for should never become financial emergencies.

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