Girl withSchool supplies (’s that time of the year again to start thinking about school supplies – earlier than ever before – as retailers are trying to get you while you are still in the mood to spend.  And parents spend in a big way on their kid’s school supplies. The National Retail Federation projects school spending to the tune of $83.8 billion!

So before you go out to buy more, take a look at what is already in your stash at home and lay it out for your kids to “shop” from for this year.  Agree that for every item they use, they get a “credit” toward an item that they are saving for.

If you find you have an abundance of supplies, clothes and books that are no longer needed, have a sidewalk sale in front of your own house.  Let the kids gather, tag and run the sale and agree that they will keep half of the proceeds to use towards this year’s school purchases.  The other half will then go towards the family budget – where the money came out of in the first place!

Suggest that they get a group of other school chums together to bring their gently used items to your sale so the selection is bigger.

Bottom line – before you spend any of your hard earned cash, take inventory of what you already have and can use this school year.  It will teach your child how to be good stewards of what they already own and the savings will help make less of a dent in your family budget.

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Written by Susan Beacham
Susan Beacham founded Money Savvy Generation in 1999 after almost two decades in private banking and investment management complemented by considerable time teaching at the elementary level.

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