Maximise Your Back to School Savings By Asking Yourself These Five Questions

The new school year is fast approaching. You may have already seen the Officeworks and Woolies ads making the rounds on TV and are counting the days until the kids can return to the playground. However, the new school year also boasts the inevitable costs of new uniforms, school books and supplies.

The National Retail Federation found that the average spending on Back to School supplies grew by 42 percent over the past ten years. Furthermore, the average Aussie family with kids between Kindy and Year 12 plan to spend over $600 on supplies over the school year.

Despite this large average, there are ways you can minimise the cost and maximise your savings over the busy period.

1.    Do they really need a new one?

From everything from colouring pencils to lunchboxes to school hats, take inventory of what you have from last year. Be brutal – and make a list. Once you know what you already have, it’ll be much easier to work out a budget for items you’ll need to purchase new or second-hand.

2.    What’s unnecessary?

Looking at the stationary list, decide what your child really needs to survive the school year.  You’ll find that you might already have some things on the list, and others are optional. Make sure you aren’t doubling up. You may also find that your local shops will sell some supplies at a far cheaper cost.

3.    What’s my budget for the entire school year?

Set a budget. Give yourself a number on what you are willing and able to spend. This will keep your stress levels at bay, especially when you know you aren’t extending yourself financially. Buying in bulk at the beginning of the year can save you from spending more throughout the school year – you may also find special deals that way.

4.    When and where is the best time to get the cheapest deals?

Keep an eye out for end-of-summer sales and supermarket specials. Discount stores also have a broad range of affordable stationery and school supplies. It is also useful to note that shopping online for textbooks can save you. Some schools may even be pushing for digital textbooks, which can cost much less than print editions.

5.    Should I buy second-hand?

Get in contact with the school directly, or parents of older children who may be willing to sell you their child’s old uniform at a lower price, or if they have a textbook that they can pass along. Buying second-hand means you’ll be able to save money as well as do something good for the planet – recycle. 

While some of your school items may ramp up the cost, it’s important to know that your budget is your greatest asset.

At Select, we make finance simple. If you are struggling with the costs of the new school year, give us a call on (08) 9417 3399 to speak with one of our brokers about your options.