This year I started something different for the kids’ back-to-school shopping. Normally, being that I worked in the Galleria-area, I would shop then bring home what I bought for the kids. This year I decided to give the kids each a budget broken down into four weeks. They get a cash envelope (Dave Ramsey method) and have to stick to their budget. I advised that I would not contribute any more than what they had. The first two weeks have gone great! Below are the many benefits:
1. I hate shopping (despite being a girl) and can only do it in small doses. Four weekends is much easier on me than spending a whole day, or two, shopping.
2. Four weekends give the kids more opportunities to practice with a budget.
3. Four weekends give the kids a bigger variety of sales (my daughter got a $25 off $50 future Justice purchase – 50% savings). Coupons come in each week, so more opportunities to save money.
4. It is a lot less painful for my thrifty self to split with a little money each week versus a big amount at once.
5. Splitting their money up gives ME more control of their money LOL. Even though I told them their money was for them to use however they wanted (one thing or several), I knew that it would be less likely for them to “blow it” if they had smaller portions. For example, if I gave them each $500 at once, it would be easy for them to spend $100 on one thing and then split the remaining $400 on other things. By giving them $125 a week, they are not likely to drop that week’s money on just one thing!
The second weekend the kids wanted to get their shoes at Famous Footwear (FF). FF was having the buy one, get one half price sale. The kids have learned the value of coupons so they each had a coupon (they actually call dibs on them when they see them in the mail)! My son picked out a $69.99 pair and a $44.99 pair. My daughter picked out a $69.99 pair and a $36.99 pair. I was so proud to hear my son explain to my daughter why they should combine the two $69.99 pairs (to save more money) and then combine the cheaper pairs in a separate transaction. After the promotion and coupon their Nike Flex Runs came out to $41.99 each (plus it was tax-free weekend).
I had the opportunity to even show them some algebra! The second transaction wasn’t quite as easy as splitting the total in half because the shoes were different prices. One pair was $8 more than the other. I did some algebra and was ecstatic to hear my son say he was going to be more attentive in math because now he knows it IS useful in everyday life 🙂
Here is a picture of the algebra I used to find the price of each pair (after the buy one get one half price promotion). Luckily it was tax-free so it made it nice and easy.
And here is a picture of their Nikes that they got for $41.99 (reg 69.99).
I am so proud of their choices and glad to see them appreciate the value of money. I am glad they didn’t drop all their money on just one thing. Some things are worth spending money on, like a good quality pair of jeans, a nice handbag, a nice coat (stuff you can use repeatedly), but I try to teach them that it’s not practical to spend a lot of money on things that are too trendy and will be out of style soon, or things that would be obvious that you “already wore that” like a party dress.
It has been a great shopping and learning experience for all of us 🙂