Simple Tips for Back to School Time 

 Originally Written: August 18, 2010

By  Hanna Trafford

I keep watching that commercial on TV where back to school time is positioned as the most wonderful time of the year. It is creative and funny – I am just not sure who is really laughing, other than potentially the retailers. But – it can be the most wonderful time, kids are usually (I think) excited about going back to school.  Parents? Not so much….Probably all seing their bank balances shrinking, credit card balances going up and nerves being strung quite tight. Consider what is important here and communicate it to your children. Easier said than done? Here are a few tips that I hope will be of assistance in your back to school survival:

Involve Your Kids:

If you do that, there will be less of a chance that they will put up a fight for things that you have not put into your budget. Another thing that will be eliminated is you potentially purchasing items they will refuse to wear or use.

Make an Inventory:

Check out all your closets and search through your house for last year’s leftovers. You may have stashed some items and forgotten about them as well – don’t we all do that sometimes?

Make a List:

Decide on what needs to be purchased immediately. That means talking to your kids about what is really needed right now and what can be purchased later – potentially when sales pop up for the after back to school rush. Explain to them that they will be able to get better and more of what they are asking for if they are just a little more patient.

Set Your Budget:

Know what you can afford, making sure that you are not paying off your credit card bills until Christmas (only so that you can start loading up charges all over again) Again – involve your kids in this process, because their understanding of what is and what isn’t in the budget will help you when shopping with them.

Shop Around:

You will want to keep an eye on flyers – especially when it comes to school supplies. While bulk stores may have better overall prices, some items can actually be much cheaper when you look at office supply stores loss leaders – they are aimed at getting shoppers into the store so you could realize some serious savings.

Check Out Clearance Racks:

Seasons come and go and if you are planning ahead, you can take the opportunity to save a lot of money. Summer T-shirts for example – they will for sure be on sale and all you have to do is to consider that they can be layered with other clothing to create new look each time.

Remember that most children have not outgrown all of their clothing and used or lost all their schools supplies since last school year so don’t start shopping as if they did!

Hope these simple tips will help you deal with that wonderful time of the year – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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