Back to School Budgeting

Can you believe the new school year is just around the corner?  As you start your back-to-school shopping, you might use this opportunity to teach your kids a little bit about budgeting.  I know, I know, your kids will not want to take time to learn something before school even starts, especially something as boring as budgeting.   However, it’s never too soon to learn a life lesson, and financial planning is something you cannot miss teaching to your kids.

Back-to-school shopping can be a stressful time for families because there are so many expenses to consider such as school supplies, new clothes and shoes, and sports equipment.  All those items can really add up!  Avoid back-to-school stress by coming up with a game plan for your shopping.

Set aside a family meeting time to discuss what is needed for the new school year.  Have your kids make a list of what they need.

  • Take time to talk about the difference between what your kids need and what they want.  A cool new backpack might be a “want” instead of a “need.”
  • Show your kids how much money they have to spend on school supplies and clothes.  You can discuss how much items might cost to help them determine what they can afford.
  • Help your children sort through their old school supplies and closets to see what they can continue to use.
  • Teach your kids how to keep track of their spending as you shop.  This is a great time to introduce the concept of balancing a checkbook.  They might appreciate you more when they realize how quickly they spend their budget!
  • Consider waiting for sales later in the season on items that you don’t have to buy right away.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, and maybe use some time to teach your kids the importance of budgeting and smart spending.  Financial responsibility starts at home!

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