Happy Labor Day! Hopefully, you have the day off, but your money never stops working. Here are a few tips and tricks for stretching those back to school dollars into money lessons for kids.
Buy With Cash
It never hurts to use cash when shopping. This helps to demonstrate that cash is limited. Once you spend it, it’s gone! Buying with cash also helps to avoid paying ‘extra’ by paying interest on credit card purchases. Paying with cash is also satisfying because the money that remains in your pocket and reinforces the great bargain that you just found.
When children are old enough, let them shop for deals and pay with cash. Of course, you should tag along too, to discuss potential purchases and whether they are shopping for wants or needs.
Your child will feel empowered to continue making good financial decisions. That’s one way to teach the value of a dollar.
Buying anything is easier and more economical when you know what you’re in the market for. The back to school shopper will need school supplies, clothing and often some kind of sporting or after school items. Some of them will be used right away… Other items can wait. Regardless,combine the list with coupons, and look at every store’s offerings for the best deal.
The shopping list helps children to understand how a budget works. The money is to be spent for the items on the list – no going off on a tangent, unless it is with the extra money in your pocket from all the money you saved by following my suggestions.
This is where the self control comes in – and you are rewarded for it. This is great training for the young people watching you!
The No Excuse Zone
Too often people get into debt because “I had to have it!”, “The price will never be this low again”‘ or “It was the last one.” So what. Some people don’t need a reason to ruin their finances. They do it because they can. Then later on – after its ‘too late’ they find out that old habits die hard.
No excuse is good enough to hurt yourself, financially. Get in the no excuse zone. There is no excuse not to shop wisely and save, save, save. Your future will thank you.
Pay It Forward
The best deals will undoubtedly be on the summer items that are going out of season. As the seasons change, you can ‘pay it forward’ and buy it now, for use later.
Leave a little room in the budget for last season’s deals and steals. Don’t forget that lemonade pitchers, grills and those folding stadium chairs for baseball games.
From this, children can learn that shopping is not only for immediate gratification. Money is used now, to provide for future needs. The folding chair will go unnoticed all winter, but will be ready to spring into action next spring.
Paying it forward is also the concept behind college savings and retirement planning. Pay attention to the future now, by saving and investing for later.
When it comes to money, the parents can be the best role models for raising financially savvy kids. If you would like to know more about tCan I Have Some Money?” Books and workshops or for more information, tips and material to help teach financial literacy, please visit wwww.sparksfly.org
Please preview a copy of my new book LEMONADE SOLD OUT – the story of an 8th grade entrepreneur here.
See you at the outlet!