Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Parent to Parent: School Supplies
Cash registers are beginning to ring as families hit the stores to buy those back-to-school supplies. So how can you get everything your child needs without breaking the bank? Seven's Lynn Martinez has a valuable lesson in today's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Grab your shopping cart moms and dads. It's time to load up on those back-to-school essentials, paper, pens, notebooks and backpacks.
Valerie Caso: "I'm buying this Hannah Montana notebook and the Cheetah Girls."
Tiffany Caso: "Lots of pencils and notebooks and folders, I'm going to buy my uniform and my book bag and glue and everything."
And with everything kids want, from Spiderman backpacks to Hello Kitty lunch boxes, it's hard for parents to say no.
Seven news parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode: "Overspending is overspending. If you tend to overspend in the rest of your life, chances are you're overspending when it comes to school supplies."
Seven news parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode says you can save money if you use back-to-school shopping as a learning experience for your child.
Dr. Valerie: "We can teach them a different way of living. We can teach them how to live without credit cards. We can ask them, 'How much money do you have, and what can you actually get for that amount of money?'"
Here's what you do, sit down with your child and go over their school supply list. Make a shopping list, and then, when you go shopping, stick to it.
That's what Liz White, a mother of three, did before coming to Target.
Brian White: "Number two pencils, one pair of scissors, one box of 20-count crayons."
To save money Liz looks for sales and spends about $50 on each child for school supplies but admits it's tough to pass up all the popular new items.
Liz White: "Usually, I let them pick one special thing, like either a more expensive pencil case or something like that, or you can go crazy and buy really expensive stuff."
Dr. Valerie says that's a great plan. Let your child help make the budget. Show them if you buy the less expensive backpack, there will be more money for other supplies. Let them help prioritize what they want to spend money on and make sure you check with your child's teacher about exactly what they will need for class.
Dr. Valerie: "Say the teacher wants all duotangs and no hard folders, and you bought hard folders. Or she wants the same color, and you bought different colors."
Follow the ABCs of back-to-school shopping, and you and your child can learn a valuable lesson in financing.
Lynn Martinez: "And some more money-saving news, parents: don't forget, it's tax free week in Florida through Aug. 13th."