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Back-To-School Savings Guide

As the kids gear up to head back to school, you have to start budgeting for the new school year.

Posted on: January 11, 2017

As the kids gear up to head back to school, you have to start budgeting for the new school year.

It feels like it's come around all too quickly once again, but the impending school year is about to hit us all like a tonne of books. Not only does it make you dread the end of the school holidays, but your budget is sure to take a hit as school uniform prices go up and your kids demand for the latest and greatest knick knacks for their pencil case. You'll be required to fill book lists, buy new school uniforms, backpacks, prepare lunches, and stock up on craft supplies to decorate the kid's book covers. If you've taken out a vehicle loan, you may feel the pinch a little more than others, so follow this back-to-school savings guide for you and the kids to get the best of both worlds.

Check your supplies cupboard

Before you even think of heading to the newsagents/newest, hip stationery store, make sure you check your supply cupboard from previous years. You more than likely have a few kids to get ready for the school year, so don't be afraid of hand-me-downs – they truly are a gift from above. One child may need a new calculator, but your eldest could have just graduated to a scientific one. Be savvy and reuse the now redundant one. It's a win-win for you and I'm sure you've got a couple of loose pens, pencils, and spare books hanging around to stuff into their backpacks.

Go it alone

When going stationary supply and lunchbox food shopping, leave the kids and Dad at home. That way you won't get too distracted or stray from your shopping list. Kids are notorious for finding little, amusing, and more importantly expensive things for their pencil cases that they just, ‘have to have!' The American National Retail Federation found that mums plan to spend 25% less than dads on back-to-school shopping*. Give your family the upper hand budget wise and let mum hit the shops solo.

Make that backpack quality

Quality over quantity is very important when it comes to the school backpack. A quality one should last at least 3 years and not fall completely apart when you put it in the wash. Coming from experience, if you buy a quality school backpack, it could even last their entire high-school career. It might cost a little more, but it will be worth it when you don't have to put it on the list next year because the last one fell apart. RIP cheap knockoff backpacks.

Uniforms are expensive, make them last

I can't stress enough how expensive school uniforms are. Even if your children go to a public school and don't require all the extra blazers, hats, shoes etc. it's still over-the-top expensive. Buy big and don't buy in bulk. I know it will require you to wash a little more, but then begin to gradually build it up over the school year and you will also be able to determine the quality of the uniforms. The faithful hand-me-downs will also once again come in handy for the younger kids. And don't forget, if their school shoes are still intact and doing their job, there is no need for a new pair – save yourself an extra $150 for next time.

So, we wish you good luck in this trying time and all the best for the new school year, and more importantly keeping your budget intact.


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