Ten Back-to-School Budgeting Tips

  1. Set a realistic back-to-school budget before you go shopping.

  2. Use back-to-school shopping as a budgeting lesson and have your kids prepare a budget with you.

  3. Take a printout of your estimated budget with you when shopping and have your child enter all of the actual expenses.

  4. Encourage children to follow the budget. Stress that getting a more expensive item might mean sacrificing something else.

  5. Encourage kids to consider ways to cut costs and manage cash flow, like clipping coupons, looking for sales, or buying supplies each semester.

  6. Teach your kids to comparison shop to avoid impulse buying or paying for overpriced items.

  7. Differentiate between "needs" and "wants." Encourage children to contribute their own money to fill the gap between what they "need" and what they "want."

  8. Tell kids that if they come in under budget, you will split the savings with them.

  9. Continue the budgeting lesson by starting kids with an ongoing monthly budget.

  10. If your kids have a checking account, encourage them to accurately record all cash, credit card, and check deductions in their checkbook register.