Getting ready for school

School_Children


The new school terms starts tomorrow for many government schools and parents are biting the bullet when it comes to getting school necessities such as stationery and clothes.

But it does not necessarily mean buying everything brand new, says Eunice Sibiya, Head of Consumer Education at FNB.

Here are her tips on how to make it through the tough month of January:

  1. Go through all the stationery and school uniforms you still have at home. “Take time to go through all the left over items from the last school year such as files that can be reused, pencils, pens and rulers as well as school bags and last year’s lunch boxes that may just need a good wash, ” she says.
  2. Chat to other parents and find out if they have any school items they don’t need, or would consider swopping items.
  3. For uniforms, make use of the school swop shops.
  4. Rather than buying school supplies all in one go, consider spacing it out during the year. This can also give you the opportunity to make use of deals throughout the year.

“Online platforms usually have a wide variety of items such as stationary online, where you can choose the most cost effective options,” says Sibiya. “Shopping online also prevents impulse buying as it is easier to stick to a list.”

  1. Use rewards programmes you may subscribe to purchase discounted vouchers for various retailers.

Alternatively, if you have unused gift vouchers lying around, make them work for you by cutting down on your school supply spending.

  1. Plan ahead for the rest of the year. If you haven’t paid for upcoming school trips already, then budget now to avoid last-minute costs. Some parents still have to finance Valentine’s Balls and matric dances. Decide on an amount that can be set up as a scheduled transfer to your savings account at the beginning of each month. On top of having peace of mind that there are funds available, your money will also grow, thanks to compound interest.

“There is no reason to be caught off-guard when it comes to the expenses that seem small compared to big expenses such as school fees. A bit of budgeting and smart savings techniques such as the above can go a long way,” concludes Sibiya.