Nancy: And our money expert, Kurt Pearson, is here. A lot of families have some back-to-school shopping to do, of course. And I’m a bit surprised to hear just how much people are spending.
Kurt: Yes, $699 per child in a household.
Kurt: That could be a budget buster for the month of August for sure. You add some other expenses into the month of August and it can be really a tough month for families.
Leo: Okay, and this can actually be the whole process of buying what they need. It can be a pretty good educational opportunity for the kids, can’t it?
Kurt: Yeah, it really can. You have several things coming into focus when it comes to back-to-school spending. Sometimes it can be emotions – sometimes there can be emotions involved. For example, if you have a senior, the emotion of, “Hey, the last year, how do we get everything cranked up”; A college freshman, “Hey, we’re going to be dropping them off,” so whenever you have emotions wrapped in to financial decisions it can be quite an experience.
And we always have unlimited opportunities to spend limited resources and that can really be true with the back-to-school thing. So including the kids into the communication, and into the conversation about, “Hey, here’s our budget for these items,” and then if they want to bust the budget, so to speak, maybe they want to kick-in their own money to help, you know, beef up certain items.
Nancy: Yeah, so approach it with a plan in place and then let the kids add in if they want to go in on that.
Kurt: Yeah, if you keep good records, go back and look at what happened last year, and that could be a beginning of like trying to guide the family through, “Hey, this is about what we did last year. This year we should be about the same, or maybe we need to increase the budget a little bit more, or trim it a little bit.” That can be a starting point for the communication.
Leo: Okay, yeah, I like the idea of letting the kids throw in a little bit of their own money because we’ve done that before, “You want this better thing, go ahead, shell out some of your own dough, kid.”
Kurt: Right. Yeah; “Here’s what we’re willing to front, and now it’s your turn.” Then it forces the tension that we all face every day of that, you know, unlimited opportunity for limited resources and it’s good to see them struggle with that tension because that’s the learning experience.
Nancy: Alright, well, great advices as always. And if you have any questions for Kurt you can give him a call at Compass Financial, that number is 515-327-1020.