The beginning of school can be an exciting time, but back-to-school costs can stress parents.
Piled on the bills already accrued for new shoes and clothing, come incidental costs, such as a class field trip, admission to sporting events or a school play.
Thinking like a businessperson can, however, help parents reduce the stress of shopping. Following good business practices also may help stretch funds.
First, make a list of fixed expenses, including enrollment costs, lunch fees and supplies.
Then try these businesslike shopping tips:
- Inventory what you have. The inventory process, which usually involves sorting, can help parents and children identify what still is usable. Outgrown clothing can be set aside for others in the family, a local thrift shop or clothing exchange.
Teaching children to consider the needs of others is a lesson that can come from the inventory process. It also reminds children of what they have and may help them differentiate between needs and wants. Assess the difference between usable and acceptable.