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Manage the back-to-school financial blues

by | Jan 25, 2021 | Personal Finance

It’s back to school soon – and with that comes the cost of school uniforms and stationery, at a time when most are feeling the financial strain of the past year. Not forgetting, that January can be an extremely long month!

Whilst the re-opening of schools extended to the middle of February does bring with it certain challenges in terms of caring for the children while parents are at work – it does also give us a little bit more time to get the back-to-school expenses under control with our end of January paycheck / income.

Here are some tips on how to manage the back-to-school financial blues:

Refit their uniforms one last time

There is no hard and fast rule that says every child has to have a brand new, full school uniform at the beginning of every school year. If they can get away with wearing even one part of their uniforms (pants, shirts, tunic, school shoes) for another term – then let them. You can then rather plan and save and get additional pieces of their uniform for the next term.

Speak to the school about what on the stationery list is needed immediately

The school stationery list is normally the requirements for the entire year. Schools are aware that the income of many households have been drastically affected by Covid and lockdown. Go and speak to your child’s school and make arrangements to buy stationery per term, if that would help your current situation.

Make a list

Just because you consider yourself an “old hand” at this – doesn’t mean that you don’t have to make a list. Studies have shown that people who shop without a stationery list end up spending 25% more than average – as they tend to just pile things into the basket.
Cross things off your list as you go along.

Save online

Lockdown has proven the ideal time to shop online. It is way easier to compare item prices online and you can use your online discount vouchers to score big.

Save with second hand

Some children grow out of their clothing very quickly and many schools now have a second-hand shop where parents can buy used school uniforms. Find out from your child’s school if they offer this service. Or speak to parents whose children are perhaps leaving the school about selling those uniforms.

Save on school fees and travel fees

Many schools offer a discount on school fees if they are paid up in full at the beginning of the year. The same may apply to bus and school transport/ taxi fares.

Trendy technology VS useful technology

Should your child require a tablet, laptop or any other device – rather check with child’s school on the specifications of the device needed. Children are easily influenced by their peers and can be very brand conscious. You may end up paying more simply because the version they want more is more trendy and high end – though serves the same purpose as a cheaper model.

Plan for the inevitable school expenses which pop up

All parents know that school expenses will inevitably crop up. And children will probably inform parents of it at the last minute. To avoid the stress which comes with this scenario – rather start saving a small amount, every week or every month to cover those unexpected expenses.

If you feel like you are unable to cope with your everyday living expenses and all your debt obligations – then please contact us for a free assessment on your level of over-indebtedness. And let us find a suitable solution for your problems.

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