The bright side of a tough economy is to make you think twice before you spend, which will benefit you in the long run. But for starters, you may need a few pointers for how to manage your money more wisely. Capital One and national consumer advocacy group Consumer Action have launched a site called Moneywi$e, which provides a series of online courses on family financial management. Capital One has also teamed up with Parent Bloggers Network on a new blog blast about schooling our kids on smart shopping. They are asking parent bloggers to share their thoughts on how to teach our children about financial responsibility while shopping for school.
In my opinion, the key to raising a financially responsible child is to be a financially responsible parent. Action speakers louder than words. At least from my own experience, I don't remember my parents ever preaching to me how important it is not to overspend, but I appreciate their frugal life style and am following their lead. Believe it or not, kids are keen observers and are sensitive to changes.
I’m not so much of a deal hunter, but I do save quite a bit by sticking to my principal of purchasing on need not on impulse. As far as back to school shopping is concerned, I’d suggest plan the shopping trip together with your kid by following these simple steps.
- Check your inventory. Stay on top of what you already have in the house, such as school supplies, clothing, shoes, etc.
- Create a shopping list. Figure out what you still need to get ready for school. Keep your shopping list clean and reasonable by eliminating things that you (or your kid, to be more exact) can comfortably live without, things that are obviously beyond your means, and things that you already have and that are in good usable condition (even though they may not be as nice you would like).
- Do comparison shopping. Compare prices of the items in need preferably on line, or through store ads if you don't have easy access to the Internet. Remember that store brands are usually of equivalent quality to name brands, but cheaper. Search for store-specific coupons or promotions to avoid missing any additional savings.
- Be loyal to your shopping list. This is the most important but perhaps more difficult part. But once you make it the first time, it'll become easier. You'll find it not only saves your money but also saves your time.