From a survey that was done by Idealo, 52% of parents that were surveyed said that the back-to-school season put a financial strain on their family.
Whether it’s replacing your child’s school uniform, restocking stationery supplies, getting devices to support their education or organising school trips and more, back-to-school can be difficult. Therefore we have put together some tips on how you can save money for the new school year or term.
Do a stock-take and make a list
First things first, take a look at what you already have before making a list of everything that you need to buy. For instance, check whether your child’s shoes and uniform are fitting before going out to buy them. If you need them, add them to the list. This would apply to stationery and any other items.
Do your research and set a budget
Make a budget of how much you are intending to spend on all the school items. You should do your research to see what the prices are of various items (plus see if there is a sale). Don’t just go with the first deal that you see as it may blow your budget. If you think you are going to go over your budget, make a priority list.
Find out if there is a school uniform policy. Do you need to buy from the school shop or can you get the basics from a regular shop? Also, see if there is a second-hand shop where you can find barley-worn pieces for a bargain. Also while shopping for uniforms, look for crease-free fabrics to save you ironing on a Sunday afternoon.
Plan ahead for additional costs
For instance, find out from your child’s school if there will be any upcoming school trips and the costs involved. This way, you will be able to add it to the budget and plan for the year ahead by putting some money aside each month for the expenses.
Ok, this is not for the actual back-to-school season but also applies for the school year as well. Plan ahead on what you will be making that week which can also be taken for lunch the next day. This way you will be saving money by avoiding takeaways and also less stressful when you are thinking of what to make for the children when they come home from school. By getting the children involved, you will have happy children, you can shop for your need, save time and also reduce food waste.
Label your children’s items
With school uniforms, every child’s items look the same and they may come home with the wrong shoes or cardigan, for example. By labelling ALL their items, your child will be able to find their missing items quicker and you will be less stressed about replacing items that are lost, especially if they are expensive.
Encourage your children to make their school supplies last
New lunchboxes, school bags and stationery can be quite expensive especially if you have to replace them every term or start of the school year. Encourage your children to look after their items by ensuring that they bring them home from school (for starters), keeping their property clean and in good condition. This will show your children how to be responsible and also encourages the habit of saving instead of spending.
You can even ask them to contribute towards the items to show them the value of money.
If you need help with the back-to-school finances, you can take advantage of our Child Benefit Loan. You can find out more here.