Love this post! Wish I had seen it before school clothes shopping with dd (who is also a seventh grader). We shop with a similar system - we decide what and how many of each thing she needs, set a budget, and go; but I have never turned it over to her. She really needs to learn how to work within a budget. That child is very generous with her money, buying things for others, etc.; but then she is out of money, and can't buy things that she wants. We are really starting to get strict with her, but since we provide all of her NEEDS, there are no really bad consequences for her poor money handling skills. Maybe letting her make all the decisions about how it is spent will force some money handling lessons with REAL consequences.
Here is an approximation of what we do:
Wardrobe for 7th Grade Girl
Jeans: How many pairs? 4-5 How much to spend per pair? I plan for about $130 all together
Tops: How many? 8 Average price each? $10 (but I allow about $50 for a couple of nicer ones)
Sweat pants/Yoga Pants: How many? 1 -2 Average price each? $20
Sweat shirts: How many? 2-3 Average price each? $30
Shoes: How many pairs? One pair of athletic shoes, one pair of brown shoes or boots, one pair of black shoes or boots Average price each? This is a tough one to budget for, but i'd say $100 total
Bras: How many? One sports bra, one black, one beige, and one fun Average price each? $12
Underwear: How many pairs? 12-14 How much to spend per pair? No more than $35 all together
Other things we get:
Socks: 14 pair - a package of white ones and the rest fun prints Average price: Around $30 total
Cami's: I usually allow an extra $20 in case a couple of the shirts require a cami in a color that we don't have (on a good shopping day, we won't need to get any)
Dresses/dressy outfits for church/weddings/musicals, etc: At least one: Budget: $100 total (if that will buy two, then great)
P.J.'s : At least one nice pair for sleepovers and such Average Price: $25
Any advice and feedback is necessary!
If purchased all at once, that totals cose to just over $700, but usually we don't have to get it ALL every year. For instance, this year, dd needed NO hoodies; she only has one pair of sweats, but we didn't get any more; she still had a couple pair of nice pj's; she still had two nice pair of jeans that fit; she still had 4 nice tops; she didn't need any new fun print socks - just a package of white. This I budgeted around $400 for (not counting shoes - she still needs brown, but might be getting Uggs for Christmas, so I'm waiting), and we spent every penny. I usually figure up he total allowed for what she needs after assessing what she has, and that is what we work with. If we get good deals in one area, we usually end up having to spend it in another area; but it all averages out.
I really do try to be reasonable as far as letting her get a few nicer things, because I know that is important in the tween/teen scene. On a different thread on here, I read where some people spend no more than $300 PER YEAR for an entire FAMILY. I really hope I don't find myself in the boat where I have to do this, because honestly, I don't know if I could. Scares me to even think about it.