"Helpful Tips For Back-To-School Spending from
the ICFE in San Diego"
Helpful Tips For Back-To-School Spending "Avoid
credit based purchases," Says the ICFE
RELEASE: August 2001
CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director
San Diego, CA. "Back-to-school time is one of the
major spending promotion times by retailers and credit card issuers
alike," warns the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education
(ICFE). "We are
concerned with advertising aimed at consumers, promoting indiscriminate
credit based spending for back-to-school supplies," said Paul S. Richard,
executive director for the San Diego based ICFE, which is dedicated to
helping consumers improve their spending, increase their savings and use
credit more wisely. "Because credit cards have the basic message of:
SPEND, credit card use in this country continues to increase. So also has
the amount of debt carried by cardholders and the various fees," said
Try these spending tips from the ICFE for getting better value when doing
your back-to school shopping.
Make a list of what is needed by category ; i.e. clothing,
books. etc., sports, or music.
Plan ahead. Start watching for store sale flyers, flea
markets, garage sales, clearance sales, etc.
Establish a spending-plan and timetable for purchases over
several weeks or months.
Comparison shop with at least five different sources for
the best values.
Consider not buying all the needed clothing initially
because if it gets even wear, it may all need replacing at the same time.
Spread out these purchases over many weeks. Allow some flexibility so as
to take advantage of sales and true bargains.
Avoid using credit cards to spend income not yet earned.
They are too expensive (users either pay interest or an annual fee, or
both, for the convenience). Some credit card issuers routinely promote
indiscriminate spending, which so often can result in overspending.
When it comes to trendy items for school clothes or school
supplies, encourage children to become independent and not
"go-with-the-flow" demanding all of the latest product tie-ins, from the
summer's hottest movies, for example. Fads often lose their steam after
school starts, often because nearly every other child has them.
If there are several children in your home with back to
school needs, you may want to consider setting aside money each month of
the year for this expense to avoid having to divert money away from other
Use layaway plans for clothing, supplies, etc. whenever
possible and practical.
Purchase previously used text books, lab tools and
supplies, etc. when possible.
"People everywhere need to improve their spending
Practices. Otherwise, they fall victim to the forces in our society, so
successfully getting people to spend, even beyond their incomes. Today's
credit based spending decisions, however, may have a far greater negative
impact on one's financial future than any investment decision one might
ever make," Richard pointed out. "These decisions include how often to eat
out (or entertain someone) this week, how much to spend on back-to-school
needs, or redecorating a room, updating your wardrobe and especially those
unplanned spending trips to the grocery store.
For information about "Mending
Spending," monthly budgeting guidelines, and
warning labels for your charge cards, visit the ICFE's Web page at:
The site also includes helpful sections on
using credit wisely, plus "How
to set up
and implement a spending-plan" (with a one page work sheet) for
personal and/or family finances. To receive the same information by mail,
please send $1 and a self-addressed, 60 cent stamped envelope to:
ICFE Money Helps
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163-4070
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE),
founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton - creator of the "certified
financial planner” (CFP) designation - is dedicated to helping consumers
of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit
more wisely. The years between 1984 and 2000, the ICFE was also known as
the National Center for Financial Education (NCFE).
The ICFE is a nonprofit consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. Over
one million "Credit
/ Debit Card Warning
Labels” and "Credit
/ Debit Card Sleeves” are in circulation world wide.
The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much
was featured in PARADE Magazine (June 9th, 2002) in the Intelligence
Report section. The money helps and tips are from the "Money
Instruction Book," a course in personal finance, which was completely
revised and updated in 2002 and is positioned to become among the premier
programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.
The ICFE's "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction
Guide," now in its Twelfth Printing, is in use by thousands of consumer credit and debt
counselors in addition to tens of thousands of consumers. It received a
"buy” rating in July, August and November from nationally syndicated
financial columnist, Humberto Cruz in his column, "The Savings Game".
BottomLine Personal newsletter gave the Guide a "Send For” rating in
September 2001. The ICFE and our do-it-yourself approach to credit file
correction was featured on NBC Nightly News on 04-30-02. The Spanish
edition of the Guide premiered in January 2002. Syndicated columnist,
Robert Heady also gave the ICFE Guide a "buy” rating.
The ICFE Web site at: www.financial-education-icfe.org helps consumers with
mending spending, learn about the
proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a
spending-plan and also access financial education courses and videos and how to
teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a
free eNews, and an
on-line resource center of financial education
learning tools, including videos, books and personal finance courses.
Consumers may learn more on the Internet about the "Do-It-Yourself
Credit File Correction Guide" here, or fill out our request
form, indicating your areas of interest.
For more information contact Paul S. Richard ICFE Executive Director at 619-239-1401.