Frugality Kids And Finances

Dress Your Kids for Success This School Year

dress for success, teenage outfits for school, tips for dressing up in school


The stiffness of a new pair of jeans, the whiteness of a new pair of shoes, and that “fresh off the rack” smell of a new shirt are all childhood memories I have of the first day of school. Parents all across the United States buy their kids a new wardrobe for the new school year just because that’s what they’ve always done. I used to be one of those parents, and then determine later that my child has more clothes than they need which made me think about how much I had overspent.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Using just a few tricks, I get my son dressed for success for a new school year without breaking my bank account.

Step 1: Clean out the Closets

Before doing any shopping, I go through my son’s closet and drawers and remove all items that he may no longer like, no longer fit, or are worn out.

Step 2: Garage Sale

End of summer is a great time to have a garage sale. Other parents are going through the same process of looking for clothes for their own growing children and school clothes will be a hot garage sale item even after school starts. This will put extra cash in your pocket for needed school wardrobe purchases.

Step 3: Second Hand Sale

Once the garage sale is over, I take the clothes that are left to a second hand store and see what they will buy from me. This will further line my pockets with funds.

Step 4: Donate

Whatever is left after that goes directly to a donation center, and I never forget the receipt so that I can get a tax deduction for my donation.

Step 5: Evaluate

Since my children’s closets and drawers now efficiently contain only items they like, and that fit them, I can evaluate what they have, and what they need. I then make a list of what I need to buy, and how many.

Step 6: Shop!

Look for sales that give “store cash” back on purchases. This store cash can be used for a later purchase. Buy some clothes now, then use the “cash” later to buy (and save) more later.

Buy only what’s needed now in order to to spread the spending out. My son will for the most part still be wearing shorts in September and October. Thus I don’t need to buy a full complement of long sleeved shirts and jeans for another month or two.

By following the above steps, I not only get rid of a ton of clothes that we no longer have any use for, but it puts extra cash in my wallet before I even set foot in a store. Once I do go shopping I have a clear plan, and never buy more than what is needed.

How do you get the kids’ wardrobe in tip top shape for school?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • We have access to so much stuff in the developed world. With a little discipline, we can make much better use of what we have and what we can obtain at a reasonable price (reasonable priced jeans are not $150-200) that we would have so much extra to put away for a later day.

  • Thankfully, I still have time until my 6 month old hits the school shopping days.

    My parents built a school year budget for me to use accordingly. They said, ” Okay you have $XXX to spend on clothes for this school year.” My options were 1) spend it all right now or spread it out over the year, 2) spend it on a few expensive items or multiple not-as-expensive items. A couple times early on, I learned my lesson, but eventually (and wisely) spread the money out over the school year.

    The Warrior

  • @freemoneyminute – It’s crazy how much people will pay for a single item, and that status is actually attached to OVERPAYING for something just to have a certain label on it. You’re absolutely right, all it takes is a little discipline….and common sense!

  • @Daisy – that’s a GREAT idea….especially when kids are younger and they’re growing by leaps and bounds. Tends to not work as well for older kids though as I’m sure my teenager would be a bit unhappy about wearing clothes from the kid down the street.

  • @The Warrior – that’s an interesting idea, it certainly would teach a kid to learn how to use their money wisely. I would think you would have to be a certain age to do such a thing, though….old enough to have a good concept of money and value. Thanks for sharing!

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