Plan ahead for back-to-school shopping
It's that time of year when we head to the malls to prepare for back
to school shopping. Before taking the shopping trips, parents should have a frank discussion about budget limitations with their children.
Some of my past experiences while shopping with my own children when they were in their teens have given me some insight into avoiding embarrassing situations. I have witnessed some serious arguments between parents and their children when parents could not afford a popular brand of clothing or tennis shoes.
To avoid this kind of unpleasant situation, parents should visit with the children before the shopping trip to make them aware of financial limitations for the item they are planning to purchase. Tell the child you can afford to spend $50 to $65 on the purchase of the shoes and no more.
Be prepared to answer additional questions about the family spending plan. Many children have no idea what is happening in the area of family financial management. Being willing to share specifically about money can help to avoid conflict and make the shopping day into a fun event for the entire family.
Before heading for the mall to shop for school clothing, here are some other suggestions:
Clean drawers and closets to see what is outgrown.
- Inventory the present wardrobe.
Decide on a price limit for each item.This saves time and helps to cut down on overspending.
Make sure markdowns are real. Know merchandise, quality and prices.
Look for signs of good workmanship. (Double stitching, reinforced knees.)Consider the cost of upkeep as a part of the garment price. Dry cleaning significantly increases the cost of the garment.
Shop in stores that have a reputation for good quality and fairness to customers.
Measure the price against use. Pay more for items that are used more frequently and less for occasional items.
Spend time comparing quality and price in different stores.The best quality at your price is the best buy for you.
Buy less and wear it longer.Natural and synthetic blend fibers wear longer and continue to look new.
Make repairs on the present wardrobe to help garments last longer.Sew on buttons, repair ripped seams and replace zippers to add additional life to a garment.
Be alert to what is available and to trends in style.A few garments of the "latest style" can add pizzazz to a tired wardrobe. Sherron Hancock, MS
Consumer & Family Economics Specialist