The start of the new year also means the kids will be heading back to school in no time. As you get back into the swing of things after the summer holidays, it can be daunting to think about the costs of school fees, uniforms, books, stationary and co-curricular activites coming your way.
We know it can be an expensive time of year for families so, to help, we’ve compiled seven handy savings tips to take the pressure off.
- Buy second-hand. Kids grow out of their uniforms so fast, so why not check out your school’s uniform shop or P&C to see if you can grab a bargain. You can also buy books, calculators and laptops or tablets second-hand. Have a look on noticeboards, in online marketplaces or even ask a few of the parents at your school.
- Get them big. We all know how quickly kids grow! Save the hassle of buying new uniforms and shoes everytime your child has a growth spurt by buying things a bit bigger than they need. They’ll grow into them in no time.
- Don’t buy all at once. Put off buying the winter uniforms until they need them – this will give you a bit more time to save and won’t hurt the hip pocket quite as much.
- Make a list. It’s easy to get distracted by the stationary available these days, especially when the kids go shopping with you, and making a list can help keep you on track to buy only what they really need. Go through everything your kids will need for the year and buy in bulk if you can. You can also do an online order to avoid the temptation of adding a few extra items that catch your eye in store.
- Label. Label. Label. It can get very costly, very quickly having to replace a school uniform, book or laptop. Make sure everything is labelled clearly and use the opportunity to teach your kids about responsibility and taking care of their things. You could even have a prize at the end of the year if they have everything they started the year with.
- It doesn’t need to be expensive. Go to one of the low-cost retailers like Big W or Kmart for all your back to school needs. You don’t need to spend excessive amounts on stationary – especially when it may be lost along the way!
- Start saving early. The cost of education can be a big issue for families, with many already facing financial stress due to housing expenses and the general cost of living. The cost of education needs to be a major consideration in your long-term planning and budgeting, so it’s important you take the time to work out how much money you will need. A great first step to plan how much you should set aside for your kid’s education is to use P&N Bank’s budget planner calculator.