Back to school is so busy. As the Mum of a nearly-5 year old, this is my first experience of the chaos that surrounds January as we ease out of holiday mode and start getting ready for school.
We’ve been shopping for bags, shoes, uniforms, stationery. We’ve set up a bunk bed with desk in her bedroom for inevitable homework, and played ‘schools’ with her almost every day.
We’re trying to fit in play dates with her new school mates so that she’ll have some friends when she starts. There are many social commitments with those we couldn’t catch up with before Christmas, and many trips to the beach and the pool to combat the hot weather. And to exacerbate the stress as January nears an end, the expenses are starting to add up!
So, based on advice I’ve learned from those that have done back-to-school before me, here’s my tips to saving money this back-to-school season:
- Shop the sales:
- There are actually quite a number of sales on at the moment. We bought good quality sandals in a 40% off sale, and a cute pink backpack at 20% off.
- Buy second hand:
- For schools where the uniform is compulsory, shop second hand. Many schools have a second hand uniform group on Facebook!
- We also purchased her “new” bunk-desk second-hand from Gumtree, and only paid a third of the retail price!
- Shop online:
- Where generic is OK– shop online! Next.com.au great for basic uniform items, at a great price, with quick shipping! *not sponsored
- You may think you need more than you actually do. Just get the essentials for now – and wait and see, once they start the year what additional items will they actually need?
- Pre-prepare school lunches:
- We already have 2 lunchboxes and I’ve purchased 3 more cheap containers. I plan to prepare 5 lunches each Sunday and store them so they are easy to grab each day. This will save the impromptu trip to the shops if some items are lacking by Thursday, or a canteen lunch!
Once the essentials are sorted, why not consider opening an LLL Children’s Savings Account for your child? It’s easy, and you can teach your child how to save which is an important life-long skill.
This advice is prepared without consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting, please consider if this advice is appropriate to your circumstances.