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Back To School Shopping On A Shoestring Budget

Back to school - three words and there are even songs written about it and all this to make going back to school a happy prospect and not something to dread. But one can’t help that little feeling of sadness when the holidays end. Parents are glad that finally they can get on with their own work once their kids are safely in school. You need to get your shopping done within your budget whether you have a fashion conscious teen or a little one starting school. You have to get all this done and yet remain a ‘cool’ parent and it’s a tough job for parents all over. Here are a few tips on how to manage your shopping without blowing a hole in your pocket.

All children must have something new for the first day. It’s something to look forward to and to create the right impression at school among their friends. It could be new spiral notebooks with the latest cartoon on the cover or some fancy pencils. The idea is that they should be different. The thrill of showing off their new goodies to friends will make them look forward to school again.

Children who are creative can give their books a makeover or a new look using colored paper, colors or stickers. Check the Internet for ideas where old things can be given a new look.

Next are the clothes. Every kid want to be ‘in’ but more often than not fashion is expensive and too fickle. Talk out a dress code and allow them to choose outfits within the limits set so they don’t feel that they are being pressurized into wearing stuff they don’t like. Give them a budget to work with. This will teach them comparison shopping, required versus want versus need. It’s never too late to teach them budgeting.

Keep a small treat in store for them when they get home from school on the first day. This way they also feel that the day has been special. Do a movie marathon on the weekend or pizza on Friday night. Try to do something different from a normal school day. This works especially well for a little one starting school.

Your shopping trips for back to school shopping should be short and to the point. No lingering around the mall or you will give in to the temptation of buying things that are really not needed.

Don’t do all the clothes shopping before hand. Get one or two outfits, then sit back and wait for the report from school. ‘I want what the others have’ is a very normal mantra for teens. Then go make the rest of your purchases for clothes. Now you know what the others are wearing so you know what your teen wants and does not want.

Trends are trends and your teen is not going to walk in to class wearing last year’s fashions (a fate worse than death) so bear with this phase and allow them to be comfortable with what they wear. You teach them all about budgeting and value shopping and let them manage and be happy with their purchases.

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