Back-to-School Money Challenge

Bobbi Olson Articles

a drawing of a broken piggy bank

Back to school shopping is a great time to teach your kids the value of a dollar, smart spending and saving – while giving them incentive not to break the bank!

It’s simple! Read on to see how it works.

Step 1

Plan a budget for what’s to be spent on back-to-school shopping – clothes, shoes, backpacks, supplies, etc.
This way, an amount’s been established, so rewarding them with a portion of any leftover money won’t be an issue.

Step 2

Give the kids advanced notice of the challenge, how it works, and when they’ll be shopping. Then, let them search out the best deals online, in the store or newspapers.

  • If they come in under budget, they get half of the money saved. (If the budget was $300 and they only spent $150, they get to keep $75.)
  • If there’s more than one child, make it a competition. Whoever spends the least (and is under budget) gets an extra $25.00.
  • No fighting, or they get nothing!

Encourage them to write down the deals they’ve found – including the store and price.

a simple drawing of a shopping cart traveling a great speed

Step 3 – Go Shopping!

Give them their allotted amounts and let them shop.

a simple drawing of a receipt

Step 4

Go through receipts and see if they came in under budget. Then, give them half of the money they saved.

If they opt to save some of the money they won, match it, using the half you got to keep. So if they won $75.00 and they opt to save $50, give them another $50 (in savings account or piggy bank only.)

Happy Shopping!

HINT: Planning a budget for back-to-school shopping might be tough, if you don’t have a household budget.

If you need help creating your budget, check out the coaching page at!