Ah, it is that time of year again – Back-to-School! Summer is winding down and it’s time to re-establish routines. So many things to do. Filling out paperwork, setting up carpools, and shopping for school supplies. This can be a good time to get finances in order too. Did you know that the money spent during the back-to-school season is second only to Christmas?
Here are some Back-to-School Budgeting Tips:
- Make ONE list that includes everything your kids will need. This can include school supplies, electronics, computer accessories, clothes, etc. Also, check for leftovers from last year in case there are some things you can already check off your list.
- Take time to prepare a budget. Figure out how much you can afford and what the costs are likely to be. It is better to know ahead of time if things are going to be tight. With some tweaking, this budget can then be used from year to year.
- Get your kids involved. Have them join in with the preparations such as doing cost comparisons, finding Back-to-School deals and tallying things up. This can lay the foundation for helping your kids to develop money management habits and skills.
- Go shopping early. Even the big stores can sell out. Going early means having a better selection and fewer time pressures. This will help you to make good selections and stick to your budget.
- Look at your kids’ needs versus wants. Sure, kids want the latest cool stuff that their friends have. This can still fit into your budget. Help them distinguish between their “needs” and “wants” and how to set priorities. Explain that getting one more expensive item means that they may have to spend less on another item – buying in bulk or considering house brands. Also, give them the chance to think through their choices.
- Include extracurricular activities costs. These activities are important for children’s development; however, you want to make sure you can afford it. Set a budget for each child that covers sports, lessons, equipment and any other accessories they will need for these activities. If parents are separated or divorced, be sure to discuss and agree upon these expenses before you sign them up.
Planning ahead and getting your kids involved in Back-to-School budgeting can make the transition a smooth one and start the school year off on the right foot.
If you would like to book a free 20 minute phone consultation with us, go online to http://www.garneaumediation.ca/book-a-consultation/ or call our office at 780-417-3119. We offer daytime, evening and weekends appointments.