Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!

kristen-paulsen

Back to School Budget

The schools have published the back to school supply lists and surprisingly they may have taken the current economy into consideration.  In the past we have all been asked to supply tissues, hand sanitizer, bags in addition to the supplies. This year, it is only requested by donation. The economy is affecting everyone everywhere and it is getting harder for people to even buy the necessities. This is the time of year that budgeting may have been neglected.  So how can families save?!

The back to school new is a thing of the past.  Many people are now looking for their back to school wardrobe in thrift stores, hand me downs or exchanging with friends who have children with similar sizing.  Having to have a new backpack is a thing of the past.  We are teaching our children to reuse what is still able to be used.  After October you will start to see the “back to school” sales on clearance and it is then a good idea maybe to pick up supplies that won’t make it until the end of the year.

For me, I decided to not shop with my kids who often get lured by the retailers merchandising and then get the gimme gimmes.  When you stick to the list, it is hard to end up with those unnecessary extras. If you do see a really good deal it may not be a bad idea to stock up on a few extras of pencils, gluesticks, crayons, notebook paper. Anything that my child may need at some point during the year, but only the necessities.

I also try not to buy anything they really don’t need now unless it is on sale. We can always go back later and buy that item when we can get a better deal.

Do you have any other tips for staying on budget or saving a little while back to school shopping?

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