In a Minute
Back-to-School Fashion on a Budget So, your teenager’s got a back-to-school shopping list chock full of the latest must-have brands. Cue the squabbling, right? Well, maybe not. Your Teen asked nationally recognized shopping expert Andrea Woroch for her advice. Create a budget. Before your teenager starts rattling off a list of expensive jeans, sneakers, and new shirts that he or she must have for school, set a budget. And stick to it. Split the cost. If your son can’t live without new $100 Nike sneakers or your daughter needs a pair of $200 designer jeans, tell them that you are happy to pay part of the cost (but remember, it comes out of the budget). Consider second hand.Thrifting is popular with teenagers, so take advantage. Consignment stores are a smart way to get designer fashion at the cheapest prices. You can even shop second hand online at thredup. com, RecycleYourFashions.com and eBay.com. Stock up on summer clearance. Retailers are clearing out their summer fashions for up to 75 percent off. Most teenagers can wear these items for the first few weeks or months of school before you have to buy any new fall clothes, which will be cheaper during holiday sales anyway. What’s more, many retailers offer printable coupons that you can apply to the clearance items for an even deeper discount. Check websites before you hit the mall.
Use smartphone apps for saving more. Arming your smartphone with free, money-saving apps can help you save big. RedLaser provides instant price comparison with other retailers. Plus, most retailers will price match the competition, so you can use RedLaser to get a lower price on the spot. CouponSherpa provides digital coupons on your phone for instant instore savings at many major retailers. Shop discounters. You can find a selection of name brand clothing for up to 60 percent off at discount stores like Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack and Century21. Sign up for emails. Many retailers will send a one-time coupon to new email subscribers. Create a separate email for such retailer newsletters to avoid your personal email account being bombarded with offers. Invest in timeless, save on trends. When it comes to the more expensive clothing, it’s wise to stick to a classic look that your teenager will wear for a few seasons (barring a major growth spurt, of course). For trendy articles of clothing, like shirts in bold prints, head to stores like Forever 21.
| September-october 2014
Is Your Teen
#Vamping? There’s nothing new about teenagers staying up late into the night on electronic devices. But now it’s turned trendy, with teenagers posting their nocturnal activities on Instagram, Twitter, and elsewhere using the hashtag #vamping. Then again, what’s trendy isn’t what’s best for sleep. Here’s how to handle vamping in your house:
Thirty minutes before lights out, turn off all electronic devices. This gives your teenager’s brain a chance to produce melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates sleep.
Keep electronics out of the bedroom. They’re too tempting. In fact, a recent National Sleep Foundation study found that teenagers who stored electronics in their rooms slept an hour less per night than those teenagers who didn’t.
Make more room for downtime. When asked why they stay up late on electronics—which can include watching Netflix and gaming— many teenagers say there’s no time for these activities during the day. “All day long they are busy, so late night becomes the only time,” points out Sue Scheff, who works with parents on technology-related issues. “Your teenager needs some down time every day, just not at midnight.”
Be firm. Most teenagers will not be happy about any limits on their devices. But for teenagers, a chronic lack of sleep is bad news for their health. “Unplugging has to happen by ten or eleven o’clock,” Scheff adds. “Set up consequences for not following the rules and be serious about follow through.”
Surviving this year's Back to School