Got an endless list of clothing, stationery and equipment your children and teens simply must have for the new school year? Over the summer a study by YouGov plc found that the average parent expects to spend around £180 preparing each child to go back to school: paying for new uniform, books and school trips, as well as splashing out to refill a pencil case with stationary.
The government sponsored Money Advice Service (MAS) has created a back to school calculator to help you predict and prepare for this bill, including a few great suggestions about how to help cut it down.
- “Don’t feel you have to buy everything new… start by checking the condition of the school clothes your children wore last year”
- “Put a little money aside for next year’s back-to-school costs. Saving even a small amount regularly can make a big difference”
- “Look for sales and consider second hand”
We agree with MAS and believe that this payment can be brought down by encouraging children to take better care of their belongings and to reuse and sell what they no longer need.
Like any other area of spending, there is room here to make a lesson of the back-to-school-shop. Here are some suggestions…
- Instil a little more responsibility in your children by giving them the checklist of things they must have and a fixed stationary budget with which to buy it all
- Help children understand the value of their belongings by making them financial responsible for them. This should stop bits of P.E. kit being repeatedly left in the school changing rooms
- Let your child learn good money habits by observation and take their outgrown uniform to a 2nd hand uniform sale to offset the cost of buying a new one
Click here to plan for your own back-to-school shop using the Money Advice Service’s ‘Back to school cost calculator’.