Are you the financial puppet on a string because your child is starting first grade or a new grade this year? Have you considered the costs involved? And, have you taken a good look at everything your child is going to need? Perhaps you have been so focussed on Christmas and the New Year that you 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.
Carla Oberholzer, spokesperson and public relations officer at Zeeva, shares a few things to take into account when undertaking your kid’s necessary school-buys:
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.”
Uncertain economic times are not making life any easier, if the rand tumbles, the price of school uniforms goes up – in some cases double than normal. Oberholzer 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.
School materials are unavoidable expenses that you should budget for throughout the year. 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.
That’s not all folks – also keep those extras in mind that you have to budget for during the rest of the year. Additional costs can include electronic devices 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 school necessities 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 that you have your household’s ‘school game plan’ in place and that you are mentally and financially prepared for the costs involved.
For all the Moms out there: if, however, you are already experiencing a long and dry month as it is and you cannot even think about back-to-school expenses because of debt repayments, contact Zeeva’s team by sending a free SMS with your name and ZEEVA to 30967.