Going back to school doesn’t have to be expensive! These money saving tips for kids going back to school are from Karyn Hodgens, creator of KidsSave – a unique kids’ saving program that puts kids in charge of their money.
Before her tips, a quip:
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“Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day,” says Bill Dodds. “It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.”
No matter what the holiday is called, the next day is the same: back to school! Read on for Hodgens’ money saving tips for kids going back to school and, if you want to learn more about saving money, read Frugal Living for Dummies by Deborah Taylor-Hough.
Money Saving Tips for Kids Going Back to School
1. Call a family meeting and explain that the family budget is stressed due to the current economic climate and that everyone needs to find ways to save and cut back on expenses. Kids are pretty reasonable people; they get it. (Be sure that your kids don’t panic. It’s important for them to know that their needs will always be met but that you’re looking for ways to reduce spending on ‘wants’.) Come up with a list of money saving suggestions, such as using last year’s T-shirts, if they still fit. For extra budget help, read 4 Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Budget Goals.
2. Recycle “old” school supplies. A pencil is a pencil is a pencil. We don’t have to buy our kids brand new things just because it’s the beginning of a new school year. Re-use pencils, pens, erasers, binders, folders, etc. But do throw in an item or two that is new (use coupons/check sales!) – it helps get kids excited about going back to school.
3. Buy used instruments, sports equipment, etc. My son had just finished a year playing the violin, which I had purchased new. The following year he moved on to the saxophone and I was left with a nice, slightly used violin. So, we started a used instrument program at the school for people to sell or buy instruments and music books. This could be done with school uniforms, as well.
4. Make a school supplies list and stick to it. More money gets spent on things we didn’t really need. To save money when your kids are going back to school, write down what you need before you leave the house and stick to it.
5. Shop without the kids. This may not be possible if they need new shoes, but there are other back to school items that you could just as easily purchase without them. And it doesn’t mean that those fun, let’s-get-in-the-back-to-school-spirit shopping trips must be nixed. To save money, limit the kinds of things you buy when the kids are with you.
How money-savvy are your kids? If they’re approaching their teenage years, they might benefit from these 7 Money Management Tips for Teens.
If you have any thoughts or questions on these money saving tips for kids going back to school, please comment below!
Karyn Hodgens has a degree in child development and a multiple subjects teaching credential. Her passion is educating parents on the importance of financial literacy for kids. Visit her at KidNexions. Hodgens also contributed Tips for Teaching Money Management Skills to Kids, here on Quips & Tips.