September is approaching fast, which means back to school season is in full swing. Predictions for this year estimate children’s back to school baskets could cost as much as £550 per child- the highest it has ever been. To help with budgeting, we’ve outlined the most common purchases to be aware of during these next couple of weeks.
1. Back to school supplies
What used to be a hefty supply of stationery, a stylish rucksack and Moshi Monsters lunchbox has now become a collection of gadgets with everything from an MP3 player to a tablet. But back to school shopping doesn’t need be as expensive as you think. Look around your house first for potential supplies including pens and pencils, notebooks, rulers, and more; you may find a number of items on your list already there. For what’s left on the list, be sure to set a practical budget before heading out to the shops and stick to it. Look out for coupons and deals where you can, and buy items in bulk that you know can be used for multiple years to come. Involve your children in this too — and see if they have any helpful tips for buying good quality resources but at reasonable prices.
School uniforms may seem like an embedded necessary cost, and buying from an official uniform shop can cost more than £100. See the latest tips on how to save on back to school uniforms here, with top tips including looking into second hand stores, eBay, or sites like Freegle where you share and find unwanted items being given away for free.
3. After-school activities
As pupils step into the school routine of daily classes, it will also become important for them to find activities outside of school. With everything from ballet to chess, karate to horse riding, the decision of what activities to do and where to participate will largely be decided on child preference and cost. It’s important parents remember not to have their children overdo it by signing up for a different activity each night of the week, but rather one to two special interests they can focus on developing. Check out ideas like this article from NetMums to see a full list of activities in your area.
4. School lunches & snacks
The school lunch dilemma never endsâ€”prepare a lunchbox or give your child some cash so they can order the school lunch and save you some time? The good news is there are plenty of websites offering quick and easy lunch ideas for children, healthy for both the heart and wallet. Sites like the NHS Change4Life and BBC Good Food offer snack and lunch options to satisfy your budget and children alike.
So, whilst going back to school may incur some unavoidable costs, making sure you budget where possible will ensure it’s a happy time for all and not one that leaves you concerned for your bank balance.
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