Free Back To School Supplies

When I was asked to start a morning TV segment on helping moms find the best ways for living a life of balance and peace, I was thrilled to say “Yes”! As a life-coach, trainer, and advocate for empowering families to be the best they can be, it is my greatest joy to serve others by providing useful tools that will help them achieve their goals to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

Each Tuesday morning at 6:45 a.m. on KTHV (www.todaysthv.com) you can join me as I reveal some truly fantastic ideas to help your family become ultimately successful in every area of their lives.

This week’s tip will help you save money on back to school supplies, clothes, and more!

Smart Money For Smart Moms

Already the stores are packed with back to school supplies and row upon row of tantalizing options for our kids. Spirals with their favorite Disney characters, pencils in every color and style, scissors with pads and without, lunch boxes for every personality, and rows of backpack options make the job of back to school shopping more tempting and stressful than ever if you are trying to help your family stick to a Smart Money budget.

This week on our KTHV Moms Like Me segment, I shared three important tips for saving money as you send your kids back to school in style.

TIP #1 – GET THRIFTY

Why pay retail when you can pay wholesale, or even better, if you can get it for FREE? Today, there are so many consignment and thrift stores, resale shops, and non-profit organizations that offer inexpensive and often free clothing for all ages. And, even better…. many of these organizations insist that the clothes be in excellent, clean condition, ensuring that you not only get a great deal, but great quality too!

How do I know? My family is continually praised by how well-dressed we are and how we present ourselves with excellence as a family. And, guess what….. we RARELY ever buy anything at retail costs. Though I am regularly on TV, radio and a featured speaker before large audiences, I am still a bargain shopper and delight in the money I save – finding and wearing my “special bargains” that cost less than most people pay for a pair of shoes. I’ve learned to spend less by wisely shopping at consignment, resale shops and bargain centers. I have no problem shopping at a thrift store if it means being a good steward of the finances God gives my family.

Another great way to get thrifty and be smart with your money is to be confident, or should I say humble enough, to let others know that you don’t mind taking hand-me-downs. It will help your family financially AND it will help our earth by recycling items that aren’t even worn out!

How do you get hand-me-downs? The answer: YOU ASK! If you see a child in your neighborhood or school that dresses well and have good relationships with their family, subtlely let the parents know that you would love it if they ever have any hand-me-downs they would like to pass on to your child.

My brother and sister-in-law have two boys that are only 2 sizes above my son’s. Right when my son was born, I made it clear that the hand-me-downs from their boys would be such a blessing to us. And since my nephews have been blessed to wear top name brand clothing…..it has been a special blessing for our son to enjoy those clothes that continue to come regularly to us even today! Recycling has become a way of life for our family…..not to mention, the blessing we are able to be to others as we pass these clothes on. “Pay it forward” has become our family motto!

So don’t be too proud to search for bargains. Remember, the goal is to become debt free so that you can use your resources to bless others!

TIP #2: GET HELP

Matthew 7:7 says “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. Today, there are so many organizations that exist for the purpose of lightening the burdens off of families. You don’t have to be a family in dire straights to tap into these blessings. You just have to be humble enough to ask and receive. Right now, there are organizations like EMwomen that have GREAT opportunities for families. One of the organizations partnered with EMwomen is Project Backpack, where FREE school supplies are being given to any child in Garland County who simply shows up to receive one. The backpack is filled with all of the basic supplies a child would need going back to school.

Google free school supplies and see who is offering them in your area. If you are in the Garland County area visit EMwomen.com and you will be able to get information about backpacks being passed out this weekend in Garland County.

TIP #3: GET SMART

If your kids are anything like mine, you know the masterful way they have in talking us into overspending on items they say they NEED. Just take your 5 year old to the store with you and you will know what I mean. What was intended to be a quick trip for a couple of items becomes a “Mommy, PLEEEAAASE!” session. And, unless you are Atilla the Hun, you probably cave at some point……. like me.

So here is what I decided to do when my 5 year old son told me he just HAD TO HAVE a motorized truck to drive –like his neighbor. Realizing we were months away from a birthday or Christmas, I decided to get smart by teaching my son the importance of saving his money and earning his money to get that special item he didn’t think he could lie without!!!!

We talked it over, checked out the truck pricing “on-line” ($299.00 – ouch!) and then started planning our strategy! Together, we wrote out a plan on how he could raise that money himself and save up for the day he could confidently walk into Toys-R-Us and buy that truck. With great determination, I watched as my 5 year old boy sold cupcakes, washed tires, babysat neighbors’ children (of course I helped!), sent letters to relatives asking for their support in acquiring this “must have” truck and even held a toy sale of some of his best toys. In just two weeks, he had raised enough to get his truck. Not only did he have his truck, but he acquired confidence and pride in having been successful in his venture!

Too often, we, as parents, want our kids to have the desires of their heart but fail to see the importance of teaching them valuable life principles in finances by training them to work hard, believe in their dreams, and never give up!

As you start planning your own strategies for successfully sending your kids back to school this year, I hope you will be able to use these tips to help your family get Smart with their money. If you would like to download the full SMART MONEY course online, visit my website at: www.staciwallace.com

Until next week, know that I am believing God’s absolute B.E.S.T. for you and your family!

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