To your kids, shopping for new clothes, gear and school supplies can contain a mix of feelings: stress, excitement, and pride. However, the back to school season can also become really expensive. Back-to- school equipment can rank up there with Christmas as a major budget buster for families. Depending on the amount of kids you have, or how quickly they go through their clothes and equipment, you could be faced with a rather large bill. However, don’t fear; within this blog you’ll find some good ideas in regard to saving yourself some money:
Shop end-of-summer sales
School kids generally wear short sleeve polo shirts throughout their educational calendar, so consider browsing through the winter-sales when these items are on offer, possibly saving almost half of what you would originally spend. These offers might be in catalogues, shop windows or even online. Have your child help you find the best prices as it can be a source of fun for the pair of you, whilst at the same time getting your child aware of what you are getting them.
Hold off buying trendier gear and head to the supermarket
Preparing your children for school can rapidly become quite expensive, especially when it comes to their supplies and like most kids, they tend to change their minds quite frequently in regard to what’s trendy. Therefore, you need to be sure you and your child knows what they want in relation to pencil cases, lunch boxes etc. The key to saving money is being firm, once you have bought the item; your child needs to stick with it otherwise you’re just going to keep spending more and more money. This is why supermarkets come in handy as they are usually relatively cheaper than your other stores. Check weekly circulars of deals and offers and buying everything in one place will save time and petrol!
Be a savvier shopper
Throughout the year you could save a pot of money on your day-to-day spending, thanks to cashback websites, which can help you gain cash on your normal purchases. This is only usually from online transactions, but your cashback could soon mount up, especially around Christmas. If you are more of an offline shopper, a reward and cashback credit card may be a more suitable option for you – just make sure you pay it off in full each month to eradicate any additional charges or interest. A reward and cashback credit card can earn your money, or points, on everything you use the card for. Simple switches like this can really help out when you have to purchase something like school equipment.
Bright and exciting equipment
During their school years, most kids tend to lose their items, but making equipment hard to misplace through bright colours and attractive, unique designs may help to stave off the inevitable. This is why by packing all their pencils, erasers and other goodies in bright backpacks and pencil cases will therefore keep your child from forgetting or losing them.
Make a list
Always prepare and make a list, you would be surprised how much this saves you in costs. First of all, find out exactly what your child needs for school; the school should offer an itinerary list for what the child would need for each class. So, follow this list and don’t buy any extra items because 9 times out of 10 your child won’t actually use it. You will not need to waste time and money on unlisted items because they simply won’t be needed and what will conclude from this is you spending unnecessary money. Once you have your list, make it into a fun treasure hunt and ask your child to run around the house and try to find some of the items on the list. This ultimately, saves you a job, keeps your kids quiet for a bit and could even save you having to buy some of the items on your list. As a result, saving you money in the long run. Winners all around!
Check Facebook’s marketplace
A lot of people treat the summer as a chance to declutter their homes ready for the autumn weather when we spend more time inside. To make a bit of extra cash for themselves many people now sell products on Facebook’s marketplace. These items can vary from household items to cars, but its worth a look as sometimes people will give away items for free. This can especially be helpful if your child loses items on a regular basis, as you received it for free so won’t be losing out on any money.
Shop around for discount codes
Have a look online for discount codes to use to order more expensive items such as shoes, backpacks, and clothing. Websites such as Mumsnet enable you subscribe to receive the latest deals and discount codes, straight to your inbox.
A sure way to save money is by purchasing the cheaper versions of equipment, especially if your child loses or ‘misplaces’ their stuff in the first few weeks of a new term. The cheaper versions of equipment can sometimes be plain and a bit boring. Give your child the task of making their own items by letting them choose some gift wrap out of your stash to wrap the covers of their plain notebooks in. Get them a selection of badges that they can decorate their backpack and pencil case with. If they feel that they have put the effort in to make these items their own, they will probably take better care of them. Resulting in you not having to buy twice!
Consequently, this doesn’t always have to be a stressful experience, and funding for school equipment can be rather costly. If you do find yourself short of money in an emergency, a short term loan from a lender like Wizzcash could be an option. Due to the high interest rates, you should also look at alternative options to a payday loan when available. If you do find yourself regularly short of money, it may be useful to set up a budget. Read our comprehensive guide to budgeting here.
Generic advice is not a service regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.