4 Ways to Keep Back to School Spending in Check

When parents and kids are both excited to shop for back to school, it can turn into a textbook case of out of control spending. Who can resist those rows of fresh new pencils, fat empty notebooks just waiting to be filled with ideas bordering on genius, and the array of dazzling organizers that promise that this, this year is going to so much better than last year!

Back to school equals new beginnings, fresh starts and do-overs. Back to school means back to serious business, where new friends await, old mistakes are forgotten and the future is wide open. It’s a time when the coolest teen magazines Instagram is filled with filtered photos of perfect little coeds, jumping and laughing together with friends, all the while sporting the latest backpacks, hair bands and fall skirts and shoes.

The thing about back to school spending, is someone’s got to keep a level head. Because if you don’t, there won’t be any money left in the budget for new sports equipment, that cheerleading outfit, the school trips or the endless pizza parties, not to mention that adorable new winter coat that hasn’t even been advertised yet. The fact is, school spending goes on for the entire year, so it’s better to keep tabs on the back to school spending so you’ll have more than a small fraction to spend the rest of the year.

MAKE A BUDGET

Boring? Yes, but it’s also good practice for the scholar in the home. Talk about what activities the student might want to join this year, figure in an allowance for shopping trips with friends, and remember to factor in the over-priced, “Oh, my God, I’ll never ask you for another thing as long as I live if you just let me get these boots!” boots. If you make a budget and stick with it, it really will be a good school year, at least financially.

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