Back to School Shopping With a Picky Teen

Top Tips for Back-to-School Shopping with a Picky Teen

It’s that time of year again – back to school  And with the little kids, while you can certainly make most of the choices for them, it gets harder and harder to do that as they get older. Teens are picky – and back to school shopping time can be fraught with hard to stomach stuff.  Here are some tips for back-to-school shopping with your picky teen.

Let Them Shop

This doesn’t mean you should give your teen you credit card and drop him or her off at the mall for a few hours! Actually, there is a method to letting your picky teen do his or her own back-to-school shopping, and it can be a positive learning process. Here’s how it works.

Go Through Their Things

With your teen, go through her clothes and determine what she really needs. Get rid of only those clothes that can’t be repaired or are stained permanently, then work on mixing and matching what’s left. Then determine what clothes she needs and make a specific list.


Once you both understand what’s necessary, you can make a budget for those items. Determine what you are willing to pay for each piece of clothing, total it up, and then give your teen the money. Once it’s spent, no more – be firm on this one! You may want to accompany her on this shopping trip to help point out bargains and such, but the point is, she is in charge of planning her purchases and spending the money.

Good Lessons

While you’re doing all this, think of the good life lessons you’ll be teaching your teen. Your teen will learn how to budget his money, and will get a no-frills introduction into the world of financial planning. Remember, once the money is gone, he is not getting any more, so he will have to plan out how he is going to divide up the money to get all the items he wants. Your teen may also be motivated to shop for things on sale or things at second-hand shops once he realizes how much the things he wants actually cost.

Consider letting your teen keep any money that’s left, too. Having a little extra spending money can be a great motivator to find bargains!

Go for Re-Sale

Even picky teens can usually find something at a consignment shop or second-hand store. Name brands are not necessarily hard to come by at these places, and if your teen has a flare for individuality, she might be able to put together a stunning outfit with second-hand clothes and accessories.

Your Questions About How Do You Get Out Of Debt

Thomas asks…

What should you do when your husband is financially irresponsible?

When my husband and I were dating he had financial trouble but he told me it was his ex-wife’s irresponsible spending that drove him deep into debt. After we married I discovered he does his fair share of irresponsible spending too. He works 60-80 hours a week at a job for reasonable pay but the money is spent as soon as it hits the bank account. He has even started working a 2nd job but he has a lame story about how he has to wait 6 months to be paid. I think he’s spending the money and not telling me. He’s now taking out loans we can’t afford to pay. He buys TVs and video game equipment and cars and guns that we can’t afford. He is always working or out goofing off with his friends and he doesn’t spend any time with the family. When he is home he is rude to me and he rarely plays with the kids.

I have tried to take a more active role in the finances but even when we work out a budget he doesn’t stick to it. I am a stay-at-home-mom with my own fair share of debt from a previous marriage so I can’t open a bank account in my name and I am financially dependent on him. I have tried to find a job on my own to pay the bills but I can’t find a job that will pay for childcare for our 2 young kids and he is never home to watch them.

I don’t want to get a divorce because I still love him and I hope that someday he will be willing to go to marriage counseling and improve on these issues but I don’t want him to drag me further in debt with him. I live in Texas so there is no legal separation. Is there any other way to protect myself financially without going so far as to get a divorce?

richmama answers:

Probably not. In fact you could wind up with all the bills already existing anyway if he should skip.

You need to talk to a lawyer, and probably you should do it soon.

Nancy asks…

i wish to be debt free. how can i do that?

ok i am 24 just got married.and i dont want my husband to know about my debts.

i want to be debt free and i want my credit score to go back up.

is there someone i can go to help me .

i went to school back in 2007 and owed them 3000 and i paid 2000 off but within months it went back to 3000 again. ( iwas out of a job and had no way of paying it) so once again i paid 1000 off it. but thats all i had . i just didnt want it to accumulate to go higher and higher. i dont know how much i owe them now since. i stop paying it in 2009.

i have a card as well i owe around 1000 too. which i would like to pay off too.
i have another school debt of 500.

i had planned to pay it all off but its hard when you dont make so much and you have decide which is more better for you. pay off one debt and starve for a month and live with only tap water and whatever you can get for under 100 a month or eat well and pay your bills.

i wish i could put all of those debt together so i could make one payment every month i know i could pay it off then.

how should i go by starting to fix my credit score. and paying all of this off? should i pay one off first and then continue to the next one? or is there someone who knows a better option for me.

p.s remember i dont want my husband to know.

richmama answers:

I understand that you don’t want your husband to know about debts – but remember, these are student loans and not something that you wasted on shopping spree … You are 24 and have enough time to recover from whatever damage these debts made to your credit score. And in my opinion you already paid enough on these debts – And since you have stopped paying back your monthly dues on these accounts back in 2009 – the damage is already done. And at this point you can settle these accounts for quarter on a dollar.
And if you are looking for some free professional help call Dave Ramsey @ 888.825.5225

Susan asks…

How to get out of credit card debt if you have to rely on them to make ends meet every month?

Say you earn 1000 and have to pay 1050 for your credit card debt. You have to rely on your credit cards ( again ) for those extra 50 and for your monthly expenses.
What should a person with this problem do?
Would it be ok to take a loan?

Finance gurus like David Bach say to pay the highest rate card first, but what should you do if you can’t?

Thanks ¡¡¡¡

richmama answers:

1. You have to stop using credit cards. Sell the car and use public transportation. Discontinue cable television. Get one local-only telephone at a minimum price. Buy only dried vegetables and whole grains that have to be boiled to make cereal and stews. Do all your own cooking with no convenience foods. Stop buying new clothes. Microwave “oat bran” at work for lunch instead of a tasty snack at a fashionable bistro. Don’t buy magazines. Turn off the airconditioner in the summer and turn down the thermostat to 64 in the winter to save on fuel bills. Only use the cheapest cosmetics from Wal-Mart.

Do all these things so that your expenses are less than your bills. Now, pay off the highest interest rates first.

Don’t “improve” your “lifestyle” until you have paid off everything. My advice is “hard” but necessary because you have dug a deep hole here. You need to live a shockingly simple, frugal life yet go to work every day and not complain about it until you are out of debt. Cut you expenses. Cut, cut, cut.

Helen asks…

What company can help me get out of debt without costing me a arm and a leg?

I would like answer from those who really know how to answer this question because I know there are alot of younger people who use this site that just couldnt have a anwser because of there age. So please if you are a adult,and can give me a reputable company that helps with this, please let me know.I do thank all who answer this question from my heart because Im in debt up to my chin.

richmama answers:

The way to get yourself out of debt is to go on a spending diet. This is something you can do by yourself. There is no need to pay someone to tell you what you already know.

Cut up the credit cards. All of them. Use your checkbook for bills and a set amount of cash each week for discretionary purchases. Put yourself on a budget and start paying down your bills. This is going to take some time and it is going to hurt. You are not allowed to buy anything you do not need until you debt is gone, completely gone.

Buy a loose leaf notepad and write down every purchase you make. At the end of each week, look at the purchases and determine critically which were necessary and which were discretionary. Eliminate as many of the discretionary purchases as possible and put that money to the necessary purchase and to past bills.

Call you credit card companies and ask them for a lower rate. Look into some kind of consolidation loan and use that to pay off your high rate credit card debt. Do not get another credit card.

This is going to hurt, but when it is done, you will have a spending pattern that will last a lifetime. You will actually have the ability to determine what is necessary and what is discretionary. You will have a budget to determine those things you can afford.

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How to Make a Budget – Family Budgeting How To

How to Make a Budget – Family Budgeting 101

make a budgetIt is more important than ever to learn how to make a budget and stick to it.  If you live alone or have a large family to raise, chances are that people are expecting you to stretch a dollar as far as it can possibly go in these challenging economic times. Learning to live within your means is one of the most important ways of staying financially solvent. When you make a budget it will help you determine what money you spend where, so that your spending doesn’t control you.  You need to control your spending and do that you need to make a budget.

How to Make a Budget

There are few simple steps you can take that will make a light turn on for you as far as where your money goes:

·      For one week, keep a notebook and write down every single thing you spend money on –  whether it is paying a bill like a mortgage or car payment to buying a café latte at your local coffee shop.  Write it down and at the end of the week, categorize your spending like this, (1) wants, (2) needs, (3) unexpected expenses. This will help you later when you go to make a budget.

·      The next thing to do is not cut out the (1) wants category completely, but see if you can reduce the number of things you spend money on.  For instance, taking a bagged lunch to work just one day a week instead of eating out can add up to savings of $40 a month, which translates to $480 a year.  If you consider all the little ways your pennies add up, and make small changes, you’ll find you can achieve a similar lifestyle with very little sacrifice and a whole lot of savings. Won’t take long to make a budget now.

·      See if you can spend less on things you must purchase, like groceries and gas, by taking advantage of sales and store coupons. Buy in bulk if you know your family uses a lot of something. There is no need to spend $1.00 per roll on toilet paper if you can purchase it on sale, or in bulk and pay 30 cents per roll. Again, small savings add up to big savings. But when you make a budget – don’t buy things just because they’re a good deal.

·      Trade one expensive hobby for a cheap or free one each month.  If you love to read, try going to your local library instead of the bookstore.  If you love to golf, find a course that has free or dirt cheap green fees, instead of playing at a country club.

·      To make a s budget work, stop buying things with credit cards. The only way of changing the way you see money is to spend what you have, not what you expect to have. If you can’t afford to pay cash for it, that means you can’t afford it – yet.  Try saving up for things instead of buying on impulse and using credit. You’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment skipping a few high dollar dinners to buy that great sofa you saw at your favorite boutique.

·      Studies have proven that people gain more happiness from experiences than things.  Spend time with friends.  Learn a new language. Plant some new seeds on your patio garden.  These things are all practically free and add to your sense of self worth without breaking the bank.

Make a Budget – Work it For You

When you make a budget you need to make it work it for you.

How to Budget – A Simple Plan

How to Budget

how to budgetIf you’re looking for some advice about how to budget, you’ve come to the right place. Learning how to budget may seem like an insurmountable task at first, but once you get going it can be liberating. Budgeting allows you to take control of your financial life and empowers you to live the life you choose, within your means. If you’re new to budgeting or have budgeted before but are now out of practice, there are several steps you can take to get your life back on a budget.  You can learn how to budget with some simple steps.

Learn How to Budget – Where is the Money Going?

The most important step learn how to budget is to find out where your money is going. If you aren’t fully conscious of your current and past spending habits, you won’t be prepared to budget accordingly.  In addition, seeing the total amount that little purchases actually add up to over the course of a month can be enlightening. For example, a soda or coffee here and there may seem like nothing in the moment, but over the time can really add up to a big chunk of change. To learn how to budget you really need to see where ALL of your money is going.

Learn How to Budget – Track Expenses

To accomplish this step, choose a method to track expenses. It doesn’t need to be fancy. A simple pen and small notebook can work. Or if you purchase everything with a debit card, you can just print out your bank statements and categorize items. Make it a habit to record every penny you spend for at least a month. Then, take a day to look over these records. This will help you learn how to budget.

The next step to learn how to budget is to find how much money you are bringing in. Go through your pay stubs or bank account records and add up your total income from the past 12 months. Divide this total by 12 to find your average monthly income so you know what you realistically have to work with. During this step, don’t forget to also include other sources of income you make throughout the year like investment interest, child support or alimony.  All this will help you learn how to budget.

From here, you can analyze your monthly expenses and average monthly income to get an idea of where to start when you’re ready to learn how to budget. Hopefully your expenses have been less than your income. If not, you’re going to need a stricter budget.

Make a list of expense categories a piece of paper. First, make allowances for categories that you can’t compromise on such as rent, basic utilities and insurance. Next, look over your past expenses and make a realistic budget for each category you spent money on. Take extra time on this last portion of the budget.  To learn how to budget, you’ll want to try to cut some corners if you’re looking to lower your monthly expenses, but at the same time, making your budget too sparse will set you up for failure. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, but take small steps toward your goals.  When you’re ready to learn how to budget, you will find you have taken real control of your financial life.