If cash flow is an issue, it’s a huge mistake to wade into the back-to-school shark tank if you haven’t set a budget. Stream of consciousness shopping can only get you into trouble. Figure out what you can afford to spend, make a comprehensive list, even consult with your children to make sure you are getting what they want (especially if the choice is between Man of Steel, Iron Man, Spiderman, Dora or Barbie backpacks and notebooks) in the context of what they need. Unless it is absolutely necessary (or a family bonding exercise) to have them with you, it’s best to leave the munchkins at home. If you want to know their preferences, browse with them online before hitting the stores. The last thing you need is to be weaving through crowds at Staples, Kmart or Target, or navigating several online retailers, while fending off cries of, “Mommy, I really NEED to have this” and falling into the trap of running a “dollars for peace” program. Democracy is a wonderful thing, except when it involves back-to-school shopping.
Article source: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/top-mistakes-back-school-shoppers-make/story?id=19920423