The new school season is quickly approaching and now is the time to put into practice those good stewardship skills and goal setting practices learnt in the past.

Shopping this time of year can be overwhelming so the best thing to do is make a plan. The old saying applies here just as much as it does anywhere else in life – if you aren’t making a plan, you are planning to fail. You work hard for money so spend it wisely using the following tips:

1. Get your children involved in the process. The more responsibility and input they have, the more likely they will be happy with the outcome.
2. Start your planning now. Before you know it school will be here and you don’t want to be shopping with the last minute crowd, stressing yourself and your children out. Pressure usually results in poor decision making and can be overwhelming. Breaking up the tasks is also more restful and fun.
3. Make a list of all the school year needs from clothing, outer wear, sport equipment to working supplies such as calculators, binders, paper, pens, etc.
4. Go shopping in your own closets first. De-clutter them by putting outgrown clothing in good condition in the charity donation box or bag you have ready to be filled as you go through this process. Consider a clothing swap if you have friends with children around the same age.
5. Inventory the clothing you have and make a list of what you need to fill in the gaps. Be specific, i.e. yellow top to go with brown and black jeans, 4 pairs of blue socks, etc.
6. Before spending any money on clothing, set a budget and decide how much an outfit should cost per wear. If you want a top to cost you $1.00/wear and the purchase price is $50 you will need to wear the top 50 times to meet your goal.
7. For school working supplies such as binders, paper and pens, go through your leftover supplies from last year. Notebooks which were lightly used can be redecorated with stickers and stencils for a new look.
8. Inventory what you have and make a list of what supplies you still need. Be specific and stick to the list.
9. Watch for bargains and promotions in the weekly fliers. Clip out what you want. If you are in store and a competitor is offering an item at a lower price, ask the store you are in if they will match the price. Remember, to get something you need to ask. If the say no, you are no worse off then when didn’t ask but you can only be better off if you do.
10. Buy the basics in bulk. Items such as paper, pens and pencils. Put them in a clear storage container and label it. Decide when discount store, no name brands are appropriate and when they aren’t. Some people find brand name markers last longer, etc. You need to decide before you shop on what you are willing to compromise on.

Remember to have fun using this as a time to bond with your children. So make a plan, work it and enjoy what is left of the summer.

Author's Bio: 

Margaret L. Good has transformed lives by showing people that success, wealth and living abundantly is not difficult when you learn simple life altering principles. She is a Barnes and Noble 2 time best-selling author, coach and speaker.

For the past 28 years, Margaret has supported hundreds of people from many walks of life as a Certified General Accountant. Margaret is a unique and stand alone speaker and coach. Her candor and ability to point out what your true gifts, talents and inspiration are can quickly help you live the life you have always dreamed of.

Helping you reach your fullest potential is Margaret’s mission in life. A stellar business woman, wife and mother, Margaret shows her clients and audiences how to truly have it all and live the way you want to, aligned with God and never in scarcity.

Margaret’s co-authored best-selling book Living in Abundance has become well known. She has also co-authored a book specifically for the inspiration of women across the globe Wake Up Women Be Happy, Healthy and Wealthy which reached #7 on the Barnes & Noble best-sellers list in January 2009.

Margaret is the wife of Rob with whom she has shared her life for the past 30 years. She is also the mother of 15 year old Stephanie. She loves reading, knitting and quilting as well as enjoying the weather and its elements while attempting to play the game of golf.