Life Times Newsletter

July/August 2002
Vol. 4, No. 4

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:

Sherron Hancock, MS
Consumer & Family Economics Specialist

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University of Missouri Extension Editor: Roxanne T. Miller