Back-to-school $hopping

Getting a child ready to go back to school usually takes about 6-1/2 hours of shopping and costs between $163 and $408 per child. Consumer Credit Counseling Service suggests that back-to-school shopping a good time to teach kids about budgeting.

Work with children to establish a budget. Teach comparison shopping by reading ads to compare prices and going to different stores.

For middle schoolers, consider using 25 or 50 one-dollar bills to buy school items. The stack looks large at first, but can be a powerful demonstration that you can "stretch a dollar only so far."

Sources: Consumer Credit Counseling Service and

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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