School Is Expensive?
Little did I know when C started school just how much money it costs to send kids into education. Before you start thinking about private education and all that entails I’m merely referring to the standard run of the mill primary school.
Just to get through the doors this September I spent over £125, that wasn’t even buying from the preferred uniform supplier (add another £35 minimum for their slightly higher quality items). We opted for standard items, things that we wouldn’t be cross if they got ruined but good enough quality that we wouldn’t be having to replace them before Christmas. It’s a fine line isn’t it? That figure includes a coat and shoes, shoes in particular are an area I’m not willing to scrimp on, I want to make sure that they fit properly and will wear well. That doesn’t come cheap.
I dread secondary school when they have to have more equipment and clothing, where it really matters what brand they wear. A recent survey by Brighthouse looked at the cost of sending children back to school and you can see a fun little animation by clicking the link. The end result is an average of what it costs to send kids back to school and the result might make you choke on your tea!
So how can you save some money on the cost of this yearly expenditure, apart from buying things 2 sizes too big so that they wear it for years as they grow into it?
1. Shop around, balance quality with cost and make sure that you make use of cashback deals online or special offers in store to get the most for your money.
2. Teach your children to look after their things – the more they care for their clothes, shoes and bags the less likely they are to damage them.
3. Label absolutely everything they will wear or take to school, that way if they leave something somewhere it can be easily returned to them.
4. Protect shoes with scotchguard and regular polishing, it helps them look newer for longer.
5. Don’t automatically buy new clothes ready for September, if clothes still have life in them then let them continue wearing them until they are no longer good enough or are too small. You might even stretch them through until the end of the first term if you are lucky.
6. Sell any clothing that they grow out of if it’s still in good nick, you might be able to do this via your PTFA or local sales pages.
So yes, going back to school can be expensive, it’s your turn to feel smug here if you are able to buy all non logo’d clothing because that really helps. If not follow the steps above, if even one works for you then maybe you can help keep down those costs.