It’s that time of year again. Back to school spending … I mean shopping.
In our home, there’s a little bit of grieving going on as well. With school getting ready to start in two weeks, it means our summer is over. And that bums me (Scott) out. I love having the boys home for the summer. Sure, they run a billion different places and I work, but just knowing they’re around feels great. Plus, they love having the time off from their studies too.
So it’s painful when they go back in the fall. AND back to school shopping adds to the pain.
It’s So Expensive!
This year, our boys’ lists had over 28 items to purchase on each list! That’s crazy. Not to mention expensive. Did you and I ever have lists of things we needed to bring to school each fall? I don’t remember any. But now research says, “The average family spends $688.62 to send their kid back to school.” It’s the second largest expenditure for parents after Christmas.
And, if your kids are like ours, they are drawn to the most expensive version of school supplies, whether it’s a backpack, water bottle, or pen.
How Do You Do It?
So how do you keep your budget intact, your Money Relationship humming along, and your kids happy while getting the necessary supplies?
Recently we talked about this with Chris and Kathy on Denver’s Everyday show. You won’t believe the experiment Bethany did with the boys. Click below to see what happened.
Here’s a few tips for the teacher’s pets of shoppers:
- Make a plan. Stick to the list the school gave you. Don’t get pulled into purchasing something “cool” if it’s not on the list.
- Don’t buy it all now. If they don’t need it Day 1 wait for a sale. You’ve seen the mountains of supplies at the stores. There will be “leftover” items in every category and they will mark that merchandise down to move it. Be the one who benefits from that.
- Involve your kids. Don’t let them know they’re learning, but back to school shopping is a great time to teach them about money management. Talk about the difference in price of certain items, ask them to calculate the higher price as a percentage of the item, discuss how many hours of a job it would take to purchase backpack A versus backpack B. Use the time to help them understand more about saving and spending.
What other hacks do you practice to keep your budget intact for back to school shopping? Share your A+ tips in the comments. Enjoy your final days of summer.
Make it happen!
Scott & Bethany Palmer
The Money Couple