Prevent This: Back-to-School Buyer’s Remorse

Back to School is arguably the most expensive time of year for families. By law, kids have to go to school and they need supplies to do so, including not only shoes and clothes, but bus passes, lunch money, and computers. How can you prepare your kids for back-to-school this year and make sure that the supplies bought will work the way everyone needs them to, for as long as possible? By answering 3 questions, and ranking potential purchases from highest to lowest DIMS (Does It Make Sense) Score.

If everyone in your family takes the hour required to answer these three questions, and generates a DIMS (Does It Make Sense) Score for every potential purchase on their wish-list (it takes less than two minutes), you cannot help but save money and give your kids perhaps one of the best gifts ever: money-smarts!

1) What do I already have? What still fits me and looks good? Do I have clothes that can be tailored or shoes that can be re-soled? Are there any hand-me-downs that can be worked into my wardrobe? Is my laptop/calculator, bike-lock, knapsack still in good working order? What should I give away, sell or discard?

2) What do I need to buy? What is the dress code at my school? Can I get from one weekend to the next without having to do laundry? Do I have location and/or weather specific wardrobe requirements? Am I going to a new school which requires every student to have Scientific Calculators, art-smocks, gym shoes…

3) Which items on my wish-list generate the highest DIMS (Does It Make Sense) Scores? Almost everyone will have more wish-list than back-to-school budget. By completing Gift Surveys for every potential purchase, and generating DIMS Scores, you can prioritize which items should be bought first. 10/10? Could be a “need”. 6/10? Sounds like a “want”.

Children aren’t thoughtless when they repeatedly ask their parents to buy them things, they are inexperienced. They have to learn the difference between a want and a need. Gift Surveys were specifically designed to help parents teach their kids to think before they buy.  They help kids understand the true value of their requests and how to spend your family’s hard-earned dollars wisely. Point to items that still fit but aren’t worn as examples of why you want your daughter or son to complete Gift Surveys in advance of agreeing to buy back-to-school wish-list items. Discuss possible family guidelines such as: Items which can generate a DIMS Score of 9/10 or greater and cost less than $60 may automatically receive approval whereas purchases which cannot generate DIMS Scores of 6/10 or greater will only be considered for holiday or birthday gifts.

Back-to-School is the perfect time to start bringing Gift Surveys into your family’s shopping habits. See how easy it is to give your children money-smarts and the new sneakers they want, by clicking on the pink or green buttons below.

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