One of the annual disputes children with separated parents must endure is over who is paying for what during the back to school period. Parents have a variety of different schemes for sharing or dividing back to school costs. Sometimes it is governed by a court order or agreement, other times parents have a system established by past customs and good sense to their circumstances. Regardless of the scheme, disputes and distrust can arise from misinformation and surprises. Communications removes most, is not all risks for conflict.
Without communication, parents hear things second hand from children, duplicate purchases or, equally frustrating, pass up sales on the assumption the other parent has purchased items. Finances are tight for all parents and there is no room for waste or wasted opportunities. Good communication does not necessarily mean any Kumbyah connecting – it may look more like steely exchanges with the Tax Department. The latter is the safest. Keep things business like.
One of the best approaches to efficient communication respecting school supplies is to use online shopping services. Share lists by emailing copies of electronic shopping carts or electronic receipts. Both parents can be in the know about what items have been purchased and which have been not. Lists can be divided or everything purchased by one parent and reimbursed by the other.
Using sites such as DiscountSchoolSupply.com or staples.com give parents the opportunity to save some money while preventing headaches. These sites provide discounts on most school supplies and let users save shopping lists.
Bottom line – communication is a key to removing distrust and avoiding disputes.
* This site is not a part of Staples.com or Discount School Supply or any other DSS brands. All opinions are the author's own.