Heading Back to School Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

With the cost of raising a child to the age of 21 thought to now be around £227,266, more and more parents are looking for ways to save money and cut back on unneeded expenditures.


The need to make family finances go further is exaggerated even more so when raising a child by yourself. Single parents are doing a fantastic job providing for their families whilst under immense financial pressure – on average, single parents spend 54% of their income on their children. This article will offer advice for parents on ways to live frugally without making drastic changes to your lifestyle.


Back to School – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Most parents hate to see their children going back to school because of how much they have  enjoyed seeing them during the summer break. There is definitely at least one more reason why parents are sad to see the start of September as well. Due to recent reports, the average cost to kit a single child out for a new year of school is £240. This includes necessities such as clothes, books, stationery and other key items. This cost equates to £2.5 billion across the UK!


However, getting the kids ready to head back to school doesn’t have to break the bank. There are lots of easy and creative ways to reduce the expenditure of your child heading back to school.


Tip: Got, Got, Got, Need – Gather a couple of the other mums with children at a different age/size but the same gender and host a clothes swap. You can also do this on the Internet through online exchange sites like Swap.com, a site whereby users can swap like for like items or exchange money for items at a discounted price. Doing this online also eliminates that cost of petrol and hassle of organising your own swap meet.


Tip: Try to spread the expense of school essentials over the course of the year as much as possible. Buy your winter necessities at the end of autumn and buy summer P.E kit in spring.


Tip: Delay buying that costly ben10 lunch box your child has been pestering you all summer for because next week they will be interested in something totally different. Buy generic, durable products in your kid’s favourite colour – these are likely to last longer


Tip: End of summer sales – For essentials that kids can wear all year round, like short sleeve polo shirts, hit the summer sales and buy them discounted – these should still last you them well into the school year.


Tip: Keep a running inventory of what supplies you still have from the previous school year. Stay organised and you can avoid those last minute dashes to the stationery store


Tip: Carpool – If the school bus doesn’t work for your family, try to organise a carpool with other parents – great for reducing emissions and pollution.


Tip: Basic supplies – Check local supermarkets for deals on pens, paper and other school items. Try to do your weekly shop at the same time as well – this will save time and petrol money.


Whether you are a single mum, single dad, or parents of 14 kids, these tips can help any family to alleviate the financial pressure every new school year brings. Follow these simple tips and you can save hundreds of pounds over the course of the school year.