AICCCA Press Release
AICCCA Offers Back-to-School Money Tips
Fairfax, VA - August 22, 2012 — Parents preparing for back to school can give their children a financial edge if they use back-to-school shopping as a launching pad for money management conversations.
"Having a workable plan is crucial," said David Jones, president, Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. "Back-to-school shopping is a great opportunity for parents to include their children in the planning and teach some basic money skills."
AICCCA offers the following tips to prepare for back-to-school shopping:
- Decide how much you can afford to spend. You will need to have a general idea of the amount your household can afford for back-to-school expenses. Talk it over with the whole family so everyone starts out on the same page. To determine if the amount is realistic, have the kids check the ads in the paper or look online to determine prices for things you will need to purchase. By sharing the information with your children and involving them in the process, they will know what the budget is, how you came up with the amount and why spending needs to stay within that amount.
- Build a spending plan. Make a list of everything each child will need. Your list should include clothing, shoes, backpacks and school supplies. Don't forget athletic equipment or other extracurricular needs. With your total amount to spend as the guide, assign a dollar value to each item for each child.
- Teach needs versus wants. "Jeans" or "athletic shoes" are two items on most lists, but the costs vary widely depending on brand and style. If your child insists that only a certain brand will do, sit down together with the list and decide on other options or where changes can be made — for instance two pairs of jeans instead of four. You may be willing to spend a certain amount on these items if your child makes up the difference in the price for brand name wants from their own money. This could be money from allowances, birthday or holiday money saved.
- Help your children make wise money choices. In addition to special wants, you might consider having your children use some of their allowance or other money they receive to help with all back-to-school costs. The actual amount does not have to be large but the experience will teach the value of budgeting and spending wisely. This is a lesson that will serve them well and will last a lot longer than the latest athletic shoe.
- Plan for back-to-school 2013. Save your receipts and with the help of your children devise a filing system that is easy to manage. Make notes of items on the list where the spending plan fell short so that you can research that area more fully next year.
Founded in 1993, Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA) is a national membership organization, established to promote quality and consistent delivery of credit counseling services. AICCCA and its members are focused on improved creditor relations, efficient processes and advanced technology to best serve clients and creditors. AICCCA members are independent nonprofit agencies that advocate for debtors, counsel millions of consumers annually nationwide and provide debt management services to consumers with excessive unsecured debt. For more information or to contact an AICCCA member office call 866-703-TRUSTAICCCA (866-703-8787) or visit www.aiccca.org.