Cut schooling costs now

3 February 2015

As with most things, the cost of schooling steadily increases each year. Not only do parents have to worry about paying the school fees, but there are the other costs, such as stationary, textbooks, and uniforms that add up, sometimes costing more than expected. Moneybags journalist, Jessica Wood, has come up with 10 ways to help parents save money on schooling costs this year.

With school starting, your children are going to need new clothes, shoes, and of course, stationary. But buying a new uniform, and all the pens and pencils that they need can set you back by quite a bit.

This year, try and save money where you can, by trying these 10 handy tips:

 1. Buy second hand:

Save money by buying second hand textbooks where possible, as well as second hand uniforms. As your children are always growing, you might have to buy new uniforms more than once. These are expenses which can cost parents thousands.

2. Buy stationary on sale:

Don’t wait until the beginning of the year when it’s a mad dash to get everything your children need for school. Buy stationary when it’s on sale and build up a stationary cupboard. Subscribe to newsletters offered by retailers such as Checkers, or Pick n Pay as these often highlight deals. You can also subscribe to Moneybags’s newsletter which also highlights deals in its weekly newsletter that comes out on a Thursday.

 3. Re-use old stationary:

If stationary from the previous year is still in good condition, don’t waste money buying items you already have.

4. Don’t buy everything at once:

Rather than going to the shops and buying everything that your child might need for the year, buy the essentials first. Slowly buy the less important items. Who knows, you might not even need some of it.

 5. Go to extra lessons at school:

Most schools offer after school classes for students who are having problems in a certain subject. Attending additional classes at school rather than private classes can save parents a few hundred rand a month.

6. Limit after school activities:

Every parent wants their child to be the best and to give them every opportunity. Rather than being a Jack of all trades, allow your child to pick one or two extracurricular activities that they really want to do.This will save you money and allow your child to excel at their chosen activity. If your child wants to sign up to an activity or sport be aware of all the costs involved so that you can make sure that you can afford it.

7. Send a packed lunch:

Buying lunch at school can be costly, as well as unhealthy. Take the cheaper and healthier option and send your child to school with a packed lunch.

8. Plan ahead:

Throughout the school year there will be unplanned expenses, such as a new sports kit, or field trip costs. Put a little money aside every month to cover such unforeseen expenses.

9. Carpool:

In most cases children go to school in their neighbourhood. If there are several children in the area that go to the same school, try carpooling. It may not save you a lot of money, but it can definitely save you time.

10. Compare schools:

The cost of sending a child to school can be astronomical, but getting a quality education for your children doesn’t have to break the bank. Before enrolling your child at a school, compare the performance record of the schools in the area, as well as the school fees and the subject offering. Just because you a paying more at one school, doesn’t necessarily mean that the education is better than the cheaper school down the road.

Don’t give into every demand that your child or the school makes. If you can find ways around things that can save your money, do it.  Teach your children about the importance of good financial planning, and help them to understand why saving money is important. Not only will this help them later in life, but it might help you and the rest of your family too.


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