These are the sneakers my son had to have for school last year. He first saw them browsing the Nike website. They weren't even available in stores yet. Do you know what that means? Yep, those sneakers were expensive!
We did some negotiating about who would pay for what portion of those sneakers, and then put our patience to the test watching for sales and coupons.
This year, instead of negotiating over each and every purchase I decided to put a back-to-school budget in place for each child and let them manage their own purchases.
Here's how we set up their budget:
- Conducted a complete survey of clothing and school supplies
- Made a very in-depth list of needed items
- Calculated the estimated cost of those needs (as if I was doing the shopping and choosing)
- Prioritzed the list and starred items that MUST be purchased first
- Put above list and cash in an envelope
Once the money in envelope is gone it is up to each child to pay for any additional purchases.
The girls and I have already completed all five steps, and they have begun their shopping. My 16 year old and I still need to set up his budget, but his list is always so much shorter.
It was enlightening to see the difference in my girls' approach to this project and their back-to-school purchases. Their personalities are shining through this little financial exercise.
I know there is still some financial guidance and education required, but the practice of budgeting, discerning need from want, prioritizing purchases, and shopping carefully is a step toward create wise stewards.
What is your approach to back-to-school shopping? How much of a say do you allow your children, and will that change as they grow older? I'm always interested in how others educate their children in the realm of finances.
Linked to: Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family