If you think December is the most expensive time of the year, think again. For parents, there are many purchases still to be made in January, including school uniforms, stationery, textbooks, and so much more. It’s back‐to‐school time again!
Hopefully you put some money aside last year, and didn’t overspend over the festive season, so back‐to‐school purchases won’t have too much of a negative impact on your finances for the year ahead.
Maybe you hid some sneaky stationery camouflaged as presents under the Christmas tree. Sadly, life isn’t always that simple – and many of us fail to plan.
Here are some tips to keep you sane ahead of the 2018 school year, and hopefully help you to lighten the weight of your budget a bit.
Do your homework
Whether you’re shopping for stationery, backpacks, or whatever else, make sure you shop around for the best possible price. Ensuring your children are fully kitted out for school is a costly business. Check different store websites and use price comparison sites to get a perspective on a range of available products. This will also give you 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.
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 a lot 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 in any school year, it’s hard to keep track of the whole family’s comings and goings. Consider keeping an online calendar, like Google Calendar for example, that you can easily update as the year goes on. Alternatively, buy a hard copy 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, exam and tests dates, upcoming family holidays, school plays, sports days and public holidays.
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 that cost.
However, it’s possible to defer some of the cost of more expensive items like gadgets and electronics. Teljoy offers rent‐to‐own on new electronics and appliances with month-to-month agreements, ensuring obtaining these for your family is affordable. At the end of the pre-determined period you have the option to take ownership.