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Back-to-School, Back To THE FINANCIAL REALITY

Back-to-School, Back to THE FINANCIAL REALITY

Are you the financial puppet on a string because your child is starting first grade or a new grade next year? Have you considered certain costs involved? And, have you taken a good look at everything your child is going to need? Perhaps you have been looking forward to Christmas and have not given stationary, school uniforms and those add-on costs one thought, but you should. It is time to get your back-to-school budget ready before spending on those silly season extras.

Experts say school items are cheapest during November and December. Zeeva highlights that it is indeed wise to do school shopping before January, but you have to make sure that the items you buy are indeed on discount. On that note, here are a few other things to also take into account when undertaking your kid’s necessary school-buys:

Uniforms

A Gauteng dad of a soon-to-be first grader, comments: “To give an indication, we did ‘Private School summer uniform buys’ for my daughter in October 2017, which includes three shirts (with the badge), three skirts, four pairs of socks, a pair of shoes and three jerseys – it cost us R3000. We bought it at the school’s online shop, but the school also has a second-hand store. We will definitely consider this option in future because of the lower prices and kids growing up so fast these days. Second- hand clothes are still mostly in a good condition.”

Tough, uncertain economic times are not making life any easier, as the rand tumbles, the price of school uniforms will also go up – in some cases double than normal. Zeeva therefore encourages you to make the best financial choice when it comes to school uniforms. Do your homework and compare prices before buying the necessary clothing or uniform for your kid(s). Take a look at uniform prices for ‘must haves’ at uniform shops as well as alternative stores like Jet, Edgars, Woolworths or Ackermans – for girls or boys. Take a look at your budget and make the money-savvy choice. 

Stationary

School materials are unavoidable expenses that you should budget for. And, as highlighted – you can make the most affordable choice by doing research (comparing prices). The well-known stores that sell stationary include shops like: Pep, CNA, or Bidvest Waltons and you should not forget to consider online options such as takealot.com. Some schools also provide stationary packs (especially primary schools), which conveniently consist of everything your child needs for the certain grade he or she is entering. But, do make sure that it is not exorbitant.

Additional costs

That’s not all folks – also keep those extras in mind that you have to budget for during the rest of the 2018 year. Additional costs can include electronic devises your child may need (like an iPad) as well as textbooks, sports clothing, and not to mention school trips. Be sure to include all the necessaries for the back-to-school budget as well as the month-to-month add-ons. Prepare yourself mentally (and your pocket, financially) in advance.

If you are staring back-to-school expenses in the face, remember to have a budget for it and to keep it at hand when you go shopping. This will ensure you have a ‘school game plan’ in place and that you are mentally and financially prepared for the costs involved.

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