The new school season is quickly approaching and now is the time to put into
practice those good stewardship skills and goal setting practices learnt in the
Shopping this time of year can be overwhelming so the best thing to do is
make a plan. The old saying applies here just as much as it does anywhere
else in life – if you aren’t making a plan, you are planning to fail. You
work hard for money so spend it wisely using the following tips:
- Get your children involved in the process. The more responsibility
and input they have, the more likely they will be happy with the outcome.
- Start your planning now. Before you know it school will be here and you
don’t want to be shopping with the last minute crowd, stressing yourself and
your children out. Pressure usually results in poor decision making and can
be overwhelming. Breaking up the tasks is also more restful and fun.
- Make a list of all the school year needs from clothing, outer wear,
sport equipment to working supplies such as calculators, binders, paper,
- Go shopping in your own closets first. De-clutter them by putting
outgrown clothing in good condition in the charity donation box or bag you
have ready to be filled as you go through this process. Consider a clothing
swap if you have friends with children around the same age.
- Inventory the clothing you have and make a list of what you need to fill
in the gaps. Be specific, i.e. yellow top to go with brown and black jeans,
4 pairs of blue socks, etc.
- Before spending any money on clothing, set a budget and decide how much
an outfit should cost per wear. If you want a top to cost you $1.00/wear and
the purchase price is $50 you will need to wear the top 50 times to meet
- For school working supplies such as binders, paper and pens, go through
your leftover supplies from last year. Notebooks which were lightly used can
be redecorated with stickers and stencils for a new look.
- Inventory what you have and make a list of what supplies you still
need. Be specific and stick to the list.
- Watch for bargains and promotions in the weekly fliers. Clip out what
you want. If you are in store and a competitor is offering an item at
a lower price, ask the store you are in if they will match the price.
Remember, to get something you need to ask. If the say no, you are no worse
off then when didn’t ask but you can only be better off if you do.
- Buy the basics in bulk. Items such as paper, pens and pencils. Put them
in a clear storage container and label it. Decide when discount store, no
name brands are appropriate and when they aren’t. Some people find brand
name markers last longer, etc. You need to decide before you shop on what
you are willing to compromise on.
Remember to have fun using this as a time to bond with your children.
So make a plan, work it and enjoy what is left of the summer.
For other money saving ideas to get you on the road to better wealth visit
Margaret L. Good
Certified General Accountant
Brampton Board of Trade Small Business of the Month January 2009
Two Time Barnes & Noble Best-Selling Author List