Spend on experiences this back-to-school season

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It’s that time of the year when parents see their bank accounts drain continuously as the kids go back to school. It’s seemingly a never-ending list of things that our kids need to make their school year a success: supplies, books, locker decorations, tissues, cupcakes, etc.

I know it makes your head spin, and your bank account light!

But Moms and Dads, this school year be intentional about how you spend your money so that you get more out of your dollars than crayons and paper. Research has shown that when we put our dollars to use to create experiences with those we love, it’s money well spent and goes a long way to improve our relationships.

Here are three tips for spending your money on experiences this school year to build the bond between you and your child.

Buy the team an experience, not just snacks

Use your turn for “buying snacks” for the team as a time to create a lasting memory for your child and their friends. It’s not enough to run to the box stores to pick up something moments before practice, take a little extra time and create an experience for the kids. Instead of ice-cream, create an ice-cream sundae bar and have the kids make each other their favorite sundaes. Bottom-line, think relationship instead of to-do list. It’ll be money well spent.

Read more: 5 money skills every parent should teach their teenager

Give your kids money to support their causes

Helping your children see the value of money used to help others is a tremendous way to use your money this school year. I remember one year my daughter’s class took up money to help victims of a tragedy and she emptied her piggy bank (and mine!). It felt good and was the right thing to do. Again, money well spent.

Read more: 3 emotional benefits of giving

Use your money to create rituals for special family moments

Throughout my children’s years in school, we used going to our local ice cream store as a cause for celebration, and commiseration. For getting all As on a report card—we drove to get ice cream. For a really nasty day at school, we drove to get ice cream. For friendships, break-ups, winning elections or venting, we went to get ice cream. Because we like ice cream? No. Because the experience drew us closer together. Get a special place, a special ritual and use it as an anchor to grow close. You guessed it; it’ll be money well spent!

Read more: Kids complain of having too much homework; study finds they’re right

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