If you think December is the most expensive time of year, think again. As a parent, you’re going to now need to fork out for school uniforms, stationery, textbooks, and so much more.
Here are some tips to keep you sane ahead of the 2018 school year, and hopefully lighten the load on your budget.
Do your homework
Whether you’re shopping for stationery or backpacks, make sure you shop around for the best possible price. Ensuring your children are fully kitted out for school is a costly business, but price comparison sites such as PriceCheck are useful for getting perspective on a range of available products, and giving an overview of how much the price of an item differs in multiple stores. Getting the best possible deal enables you to save some money for other necessities. You can also buy the items directly off the PriceCheck website saving you time and a trip to the store.
Hunt for hand-me-downs
You can’t buy everything second‐hand (a used notebook wouldn’t be very useful, after all), but you can find good deals on text books and even school uniforms. Kids grow so fast, so a second-hand jersey or blazer, for example, can still have plenty of life left in it. And if you have children a few years apart in age, be sure to hold on to anything that can be re‐used.
So much happens during the school year that it’s hard to keep track of the whole family’s comings and goings. Consider keeping an online calendar, such as Google Calendar, that you can easily update as the year goes by. Alternatively, buy a hard-copy of a calendar and keep it in an area in the house (with a pen) where everyone can see it and remember to update it.
Be sure to add birthdays of friends and relatives, important events, exams and tests, upcoming family holidays, school plays, sports days, and public holidays.
ALSO SEE: Preparing your child for preschool
Pay as you go
Having to pay for so many things, all at the same time, can be daunting. School uniforms, pencils, notebooks, school readers, and more, are all needed from the start of the year – and there’s no way to avoid the cost.
However, it’s possible to defer some of the cost of more expensive items like gadgets and electronics. Local company Teljoy offers rent‐to‐own on new electronics and appliances with month-to-month agreements. At the end of a pre-determined period, you can take ownership of the product.
Through proper planning and following some helpful tips, 2018 could be the start of your lifelong savings journey.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.