It’s that time again. The marvelous aroma of pumpkin fills our kitchens, leaves are turning brilliant shades of orange and our babies are learning the true meaning of a touchdown. With seasons changing, so are our wardrobes. With growing kids, bigger clothes are a must. Last season’s blue jeans just won’t fit that sprouting child, and it’s too late in the year to turn them into capris. So let’s get down to business. If you have older children and would like them to understand the important value of a dollar, let them calculate their fall shopping budget for you.  Start by asking them to clear their closets of clothes they would like to donate to those less fortunate. Giving before receiving is a valuable lesson in life. Their hearts will grow along with their budgeting skills. Next give them a dollar amount they will be able to spend, asking them to create a list of fall item “Needs” and fall item “Wants.” They will assign a monetary value to each “need” and leftover funds can be spent on “wants.” Your kiddos will see the dollar signs quickly multiplying and will gain a sense of how valuable every dollar truly is. Now that your budget is taken care of, here are my Top 3 tips to keep it in tact this fall season. A girl’s gotta shop and a girl on a budget’s gotta shop smart

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Compromise, compromise, compromise. I remember well the pressure kids feel to have all of the newest and greatest of everything. They unfortunately gain a sense of “Keeping up with the Joneses” way too early. As distressing as that is, it’s a fact of life. So while you are shopping for fall goodies, make sure they realize how to make choices. If they are buying an expensive pair of tennis shoes, they will have to lower their spending expectations on other items.  This will teach them to make good choices and compromise.  Money doesn’t grow on trees, junior. Us moms know that all too well.

Buy 2nd Hand. Help your children learn early that hand me downs are fabulous! I live close to several consignment stores that carry high-end merchandise (some with the tags still attached) at a fraction of the cost. My girls are very familiar with consignment sales and hand me downs from friends. We are a family thankful for bargains, and we manage to always stay dressed in style. Just saying. So, spend less and you can buy more. Or even better…. save the difference!
Clip coupons and shop the sales.  Clipping coupons is a fun activity for young children and awards them ownership in helping the family save those benjamins. Fall sales are rampant with inventory turnovers allowing for new seasonal apparel to hit the shelves. I love finding bargain tanks and cute skirts that I can pair with tights and a sweater for cooler weather. Shop smart, shop creative and stay warm and in style. There you go mommas. A few tips to keep cash in your pockets and smiles on your children’s faces. Cheerful family all around. Happy shopping!