Managing Monday’s
August 8, 2011, 6:00 am
Filed under: back to school, bargain shopping, books, Parenting, Teenagers | Tags: , ,

20110807-112234.jpg Monday is for many, a day to be hated, the end of the weekend, the start of the work week, and school week. Monday’s need to be manageable, if Monday’s start off well, the rest of the week has hope for the same. My blogs on Monday’s will be centered around managing your chaos. Tips, tricks, unsolicited advice and humorous antidotes that have helped me manage my household of four kids, at least one dog, and a husband who likes our home to be “company ready” at all times. Feel free to share what works for you, what has not worked, and anything else you think might help us all manage our Monday’s and lives in a more productive way.

First, my apology to all teacher friends that are reading this today as I am talking about managing your budget, time and sanity as we get our kids ready to go back to school. I know you do not want it to be here yet, so just stop reading, and go back to your illusion that you still have plenty of summer left.

For the rest of us, this can be a very stressful time of financial burden, and disappointed kids when they do not find the exact backpack of their dreams. For school supplies I happen to enjoy the adventure of looking through the adds, finding the best deals, and going to many different stores. I challenge myself to only buy the bottom line sale items at each store and not get suckered into the convenience of the “since I am here” mentality and buy other items not on sale and not a good price.

Now if you have toddlers and school age children I do not recommend this for you. It is way too much work getting those beautiful children in and out of the car and their car seats for it to be worth the money you save. Please go to Walmart or Target, get in, get out and be done! If you have younger elementary age kids and you make it a game it can be really fun. My kids loved to ‘buy’ the items by themselves which is an easy way to bypass the stores quantity limit. Give your kids cash and put them in line before you, voila you are out the door, they think they are awesome and you got the correct number of pencils for each of your kids at the bargain price advertised.

For my friends with junior high age kids and older I suggest a budgeted amount of money for the student to decide how it will be spent. This teaches them the value of money, and it is amazing how there priorities change when they know exactly how much money they have to get all the things they “need”. I found that suddenly the backpack could be used for another year, maybe that notebook with the fancy cover is not as important as they thought before. An added incentive for this is to let them keep whatever money is left over from the budgeted amount with the clear instructions that you are not bailing them out when they ‘forgot’ a few things on their list. The Johnson family kids are each given a sum of cash for both clothes and school supplies. I will gladly drive them wherever they want to go to shop but they need to prioritize and plan how the money can best be used. This money does not include one pair of shoes or calculators as these tend to be the most expensive and necessary items they all need. It has worked well and it is interesting to see how they take care of their stuff when they ‘bought’ it.

Whatever you decide to do the most important thing is setting a budget and sticking to it. Be realistic and prepared, and the whole process can be as smooth as the peanut butter you put on that first sandwich for their lunch!


4 Comments so far
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Where were you when I needed you years ago?!

Comment by Barb Stoefen

I was still unfurling 🙂

Comment by Kari

Loving the blog Kari! Especially the part about parents of toddlers not needing the insanity of shopping multiple stores. There are so many parenting tips that I read and have to tell myself that it’s okay to wait until they’re older. Manage this stage where we are at.

Making them manage their own supply/clothes budget is fantastic. Kari tips are the best. I’m already looking forward to the post you will do about running laps for discipline… and for when my boys are old enough to use it!

Comment by Alissa

Thanks Alissa,

I would appreciate any other ideas of thing you would like to hear about. I would also appreciate you passing my blog along to other parents you know who might enjoy it!

Comment by Kari

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