Ohmygoodness. School starts in less than a month for my daughters who are going into third and fifth grades. That means less than 4 weeks left of summer. Instead of waiting until the very last minute we talked about back to school budgeting at dinner last night. For our family, money is an every day teaching opportunity. One day these sweet little pumpkins of ours are going to be living in the real world, making their own financial decisions. We are growing their confidence and skills by giving them money to do their own back to school shopping (except this year they get $150 dollars ($140 to spend, $10.00 for tax) and they must include tennis shoes in their purchases).
Some of you may have just realized that we are giving an eight-year-old and a nine-year-old their own cash money to do their own back to school shopping. There will be a few high fives from those who think this is a good idea and maybe more “what are you thinking?!?!?!” from those who don’t agree with our way of parenting.
Here is what we are thinking:
Children need to be taught financial responsibility. When they have a cash budget they know exactly how much money they have to spend on things they want and need.
We aren’t sending them to the mall by themselves like it’s Mall Madness. We will shop with them and stand at the register when they make their own purchases.
Lists must be made about what needs to be purchased. Items will be checked off the list and they must get everything they need….or voluntarily choose to go without.
The word “no” becomes almost obsolete because my girls have to really think about what they want to spend their money on. Twenty dollars for socks? Sure, it’s your money, but you may not have enough to purchase something else.
Absolutely the word “no” will be used for anything that is not age appropriate or that does not fit within our family guidelines.
One day we will be sending them to college (fingers crossed) and they will have shopped for school supplies and clothing their entire lives. The transition to dorm items and adulthood will not be a total shock.
I know, this may not be how you go back to school shopping….and that’s ok! We would love to read what works for you below in the comments.
Get your printable school budget envelopes here!
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