Back to school season comes with its own version of excitement. Parents are always running from store to store looking for school supplies and discounts. Has it ever occurred to you that this period can be used to shape the life of your child? If the back to school period is done in the right way, it could have lifelong lessons. Don’t waste time arguing with your child on what to buy. The extravagance brought forth by this period could dig deep into your budget and savings if you are not careful.
- Distinguish the needs from the wants
The back to school season is a perfect one for explaining this difference. Inarguably, necessities always come first. Sit down with your children, review the whole list and establish the items into two lists, the needs and the wants. Avoid replacing existing items with new ones as this can result into wastage.
- Let them know that they can save for back to school
Children are experts in saving. You only need to spark this interest and they are off to a great start. Promise back to school favors to your kids by giving them simple household tasks such as baby sitting. Let them feel that they are working towards a goal by giving them a piggy bank or by keeping a chart.
- Old is gold!
It is not wrong when your child requests for a brand new item for school. However, start showing them where they can get these items at a cheaper price as early as possible. Take time to convince them that the items found on secondhand market can be as good as the new ones. A used cloth line can offer prices up to 90% off and half the price for sports gear. You can find second hand gadgets such as laptops at 40% off or even higher than that.
- Do some research first
It is not good to teach your children to just buy without doing some research to look for better deals. Involving your kids directly in the research will shape their saving habits. Compare the brands and the product versions as well as their prices. After you are done with the purchases, compute the total amount saved; your kid will not help but hide the excitement!
- Brands are just a marketing stunt
General products without the brands are just like their counterparts and could even be better sometimes. Just like perfumed soap, you can do without it. Talk with your children to erase brand messaging that they have earned from commercials. To bind this saving this strategy, use part of the money saved to buy something from the want list.