Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s Back to School We Go!

by Leah Drewcock
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That was a fast summer! It is already time to start
thinking about going back to school. This year,
with the appointment of a National Financial
Literacy Leader by the Federal Government, we
know schools will be placing more emphasis on
teaching children financial literacy. Shopping for
back to school is a good way to start children’s
learning about managing money. According to
a Target Canada survey, 51 per cent of moms
describe back-to-school shopping as expensive;
it is a never ending money pit that can lead to
debt problems. A 2013 Pollara survey found that
parents planned to spend $428 per child on back
to school shopping. That was an increase of more
than 18 percent over what they spent in 2012.
One can only imagine what will be spent on each
child for the coming school year. Before parents
hit the malls, a word of caution, make sure you
can afford to pay the bills when they arrive. Every
child wants new clothes and supplies for school,
but that can be a very expensive proposition
if you have not budgeted for it. Back to school
shopping is a good place to start teaching
children the difference between needs and wants.
And, it is also a reminder for parents to take a look at
what their children currently own and determine
if the item really needs to be replaced or if it can last
another year.There are many ways to teach your
children to be good money managers and back
to school shoppers at the same time, including:
1.Letting your children create their own
shopping list and give them a maximum
amount to spend on their supplies
2.Setting up a reward system if they
spend less than the budgeted
3.Checking store flyers, price match and
shop for supplies only when they are
on sale
4.Looking for uniform resellers to save
on gently-used uniforms
5.Remembering that schools do provide
certain items; have your child check with
his/her teacher before spending any
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