MoneyLife

Back-to-School Shopping: Finance Lessons for Kids

By Jessica Crosby
back to school

Parents are always excited for the end of summer because it means that school is just around the corner. However, preparing their kids to return to school is not always as easy as picking up some school supplies and sending their kids off to their first day of school. 

Before kids can return to school, parents must complete back-to-school shopping. It’s the yearly trek to the department store where the battle between what’s affordable and what’s fashionable takes place. 

Having kids can be expensive. But this year, try to use your back-to-school shopping experience as an opportunity to teach your children lessons in money management! 

How much do parents spend on back-to-school shopping? 

Each year, parents spend more and more on back-to-school shopping. The average cost of back-to-school shopping is currently approximately $684.79 per family. Even with the new child tax credit payments, back-to-school shopping can still add up quickly for parents. 

7 back-to-school shopping tips to teach your kids

We’ve come up with some great tips to help you make the most out of your money while getting all the back-to-school essentials for your kids this year. Here are 7 back-to-school shopping tips to teach your kids! 

1. Take inventory of what you already have

Kids don’t always outgrow last year’s clothes when the new school year rolls around. So, have your kids gather all of their clothes from prior years and take inventory of what you can reuse compared to which clothes you need to donate. 

Teaching your kids to look at what they already have in their closets before buying new clothes is a good lesson both in terms of finances and being charitable to others. This also makes sure that you and your kids prioritize what they need when you go shopping later instead of just buying everything they want. 

2. Prepare by creating a back-to-school budget and shopping list

Preparation is the key to success. When it comes to back-to-school shopping, you can prepare by doing a little research both online and through print ads to find the best deals. Let your kids help out by comparing the cost of items across stores. 

Your kids might be amazed to learn that the same item can cost more at one store and less at another. A little research can go a long way and lead to significant savings. Looking at the prices before you go shopping will help you and your kids set a budget before going shopping, too! 

Start by letting them choose their big-ticket item to get started with the process of analyzing prices across stores. Help them calculate the savings that they’ll experience by searching for the item with the best price. This will inspire them to research other items, too. 

3. Teach them a lesson in budgeting for kids

Bring your kids along with you on your back-to-school shopping trip, and make sure they pay attention to the price of each item. This will help them understand how much different items cost which will encourage them to consider prices when thinking about buying certain items.

Incentivize your kids to stick to a specific budget by allowing them to keep the balance that remains after they purchase their items. If they choose to buy affordable items and spend less than their budget, then they’ll earn money that they can save for other things. It’s important to show your kids that they can dress well on a budget

4. Be patient and wait for the best deals

It pays to be patient when looking for the best deals. The end of summer is the best time to buy T-shirts and other summer items because all of the seasonal items are either on sale or on clearance. 

It’s also cheaper to wait until the end of the fall season to purchase sweaters and colder weather items. See the pattern? Buying seasonal items at the end of the respective season is a great way to save. 

Teaching your children the importance of waiting for a good deal is vital. It can help you avoid impulse shopping and experiencing buyer’s remorse later on in life, too! 

5. Start early to instill lifelong financial literacy for kids

Children start to develop an opinion about money at a very young age, so it’s important to build positive financial behaviors early. Back-to-school shopping is the perfect opportunity to start teaching your children healthy money habits. 

Whether your child is in elementary school or your kids are heading off to college, it’s never too late to teach them how to view money in a positive way. Financial literacy for kids is an ongoing lesson that should always be alive and well in your household. 

6. Time your big purchases with upcoming sales

A major element of educating your children about financial literacy is showing them that they need to delay gratification. In most cases, you will need to wait and be patient and wait for the things you want to come into fruition because nothing happens overnight.  

If your child needs an expensive item like a new laptop or another calculator, these purchases often need to be carefully planned out before they are purchased. You’ll need to scope out sales and plan ahead before you spend a large amount of money. This is an excellent time to educate your child about the importance of timing and prioritizing purchases. 

7. Use your tax credit payments strategically

This year, back-to-school shopping lines up perfectly with Biden’s tax credit payments. Use this money strategically when you go back-to-school shopping with your children. Map out where your money will be allocated and which stores you’ll shop from. Decide on what is and isn’t a priority so that you can figure out what is worth buying now and what you can hold off on purchasing until a later date.  

Are you still feeling lost on your back-to-school budget?

MoneyLion can help. We offer financial services for those needing money. Stop stressing about upcoming back-to-school shopping and get Instacash from MoneyLion. Instacash makes it easy to make the purchases you need for your family fast with 0% APR. Download the MoneyLion app today to get started

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Stop stressing about providing for your family. MoneyLion is here to help. Our Credit Builder Plus loan can help you either establish or rebuild your credit. 

It’s a loan that you pay off each month, and in the process, we report your progress, which builds your credit along the way. And unlike other credit building programs, Credit Builder Plus gives you access to a portion of your loan funds right away!

How much is spent on back-to-school shopping?

The average family spends $684.79 per year on back-to-school shopping. 

What is a good budget for back-to-school shopping?

The best budget comes from looking at everything you need and researching the best price for each item. Distinguish between your needs and your wants. If you are still struggling to pay for back-to-school shopping, MoneyLion can help you thanks to our Instacash cash advance program.

How do you save money on kid’s clothes?

Check out sales at the end of the season and start planning to buy clothes when they are on clearance. Thrift stores, consignment sales, and Facebook Marketplace are also great options for gently-used clothes for kids as well. 

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