At this time every year parents throughout America are all constantly hearing the same requests from their children ahead of the new school year.
Often, it is for new school items, such as bags, books and laptops or the latest designer trainers so they can make an impression come the new semester.
The cost of these items, especially during these difficult economic times, can mount up. On top of everyday living, it’s often a real stretch for most families.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t despair! There is a middle ground where both you and your children can be happy. Firstly, it is a good idea to take stock of your financial situation.
With the hectic pace of everyday life, you may not have looked at your income and expenditure for a while. Use a mortgage calculator to help double check whether you can access a better rate of interest.
A mortgage calculator may help you free up other money to purchase much-needed items, such as new shoes or bags. However, don’t feel that you are obliged to buy the highest priced goods.
Children do not really understand the value of money, so the difference between a good and great pair of sneakers to them may be the money for the fuel bills for you.
Explain to them that there is a limited pot of money and that you have to purchase so many items. If they are older children, make it a challenge for them.
Getting them involved with the process can help them learn valuable life lessons, that you can’t always have everything you want all the time. This may help them avoid excessive debts in the future.
Allow them the choice to purchase the sneakers they want but ensure they know this will leave less for a good school bag. This will help them to understand how budgeting works.
Other ways of cutting back on school spending include taking advantage of special offers from retailers who offer deals such as 2 for 1 on clothing ranges.
If you have more than one child, this will be of valuable help. If you have one child, use this offer to buy items in the bigger size for the future.
Also, check the retailer’s website and local free papers for money-off vouchers. These coupons may only be for small amounts but these will add up and make great savings if you use them wherever you can.
You may even wish to join a coupon site, which gives details of all the promotions, discounts and money-off coupons that are available. Many parents have found these to be very worthwhile.
Additional ways to cut back on spending include swapping and recycling items within your network of family and friends who, rest assured, are facing the same issues as you!
You can reduce the back to school spending spree with some smart thinking around money and resources. Check your finances, use the mortgage calculator and help your children understand the value of money.