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.
1) Make a list of what is needed by category ; i.e.
clothing, books. etc., sports, or music.
2) Plan ahead. Start watching for store sale flyers, flea
markets, garage sales, clearance sales, etc.
3) Establish a spending-plan and timetable for purchases
over several weeks or months.
4) Comparison shop with at least five different sources
for the best values.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) When it comes to trendy items for school clothes or
school supplies, encourage children to become independent
"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.
8) 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 expenses.
9) Use layaway plans for clothing, supplies, etc. whenever
possible and practical.
10) 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: www.financial-education-icfe.org. The
site also includes helpful sections on increasing savings,
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) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation). The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org). CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed. In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.
The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org. Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G, a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.