GUEST BLOGGER: ELIZABETH DAVIS
Back to school shopping can be wonderful quality time and an opportunity to make happy memories with our children. However, back to school shopping may also be a time of financial stress, feelings of insufficiency and occasionally whining (my kids and probably me too). I have both witnessed and experienced children whose desire to obtain an object is the impetus behind poor behavior.
A few years ago, we made a change...
Instead of trying to help my daughter do her back to school shopping within MY budget I was going to have her do it within HER budget. At the beginning of summer, we had a conversation about back to school shopping. We discussed the things that she might need (a backpack, pants, tops, shoes, etc.) and how much that might cost. I told her that I would match the total she earned during the summer months and that would be what she would have for her back to school shopping budget.
It has been fantastic! I have willing help in the summer with cleaning projects, babysitting, and organizing. At the end of the summer, we schedule our back to school shopping time and, together, come up with the list of must haves. Shopping with her money is a COMPLETELY different experience than shopping with my money. Suddenly a cute but expensive item was less appealing than it was when I was buying it. During this process she is learning to prioritize her needs and her wants and I am learning about what is most important to her. Having a specific backpack is very important to her. Cute accessories and jewelry do not generally warrant her hard-earned money.
We’ve been doing this for a few years now and it has become an experience that I look forward to. I believe that this tradition is helping my daughter to learn to value the money that she makes and spend it wisely in a way that meets her needs and wants.
Want more resources like this? See the Teaching Children Money Management publication.
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