Uniform, sports clothes, shoes, hats, stationery – once you have children at school you can find that you’re up for a fortune in extra costs, but there are a few ways that you can keep these to a minimum:
1. Label EVERYTHING: Kids are great at managing to lose their belongings into thin air. Make sure that everything you send to school – clothes, hats, books, lunchbox, drink bottle – is clearly labelled with your child’s name. Without it, the chances of getting misplaced items back is next to none.
2. Consider buying second hand: Many schools have a uniform shop/clothing pool and you could also check op-shops in the local area, or ask family and friends for hand-me-downs. In reality, even if you bought new, chances are it would look second hand within a few weeks anyway so you may as well save a few dollars if you can.
3. Education tax refund: The Government’s new Education Tax Refund provides up to 50% back on a range of children’s expenses including uniforms, hats, footwear, stationery, printer cartridges, laptops, text books and computer repairs. For more information, and to find out if you are eligible visit http://www.educationtaxrefund.gov.au/.
4. Stationery: Check out local discount/$2 shops for bargains and also keep an eye on the back-to-school sales that many department stores offer in the lead up to Term 1.
5. Professional shoe fittings: Leave shoe shopping until as close to the start of Term 1 as possible in case of any growth spurts and needing to go up a size. Have your children professionally fitted to ensure you get the right size (and aren’t back in a couple of weeks for the next size).
Do you have any clever tricks or tips to help save money on the seemingly endless list of expenses that come with having children at school? We’d love to hear from you!