Back-to-school season is finally here, and the struggle is real! For parents with students enrolled in senior high school and college, going back to school can be costly. As much as you want to keep your sanity in check, the long list of books, bags, shoes, uniforms, tuition fees, and other expenses can really make your head feel a bit dizzy. While there are many scholarships available to help parents shoulder tuition fees, other expenses can still deal a great blow on your finances. As you prepare your child for their education, stick to your priorities and buy the necessary things first. Here are some smart and practical money-saving tips for this back-to-school season:
1. Shoes, Bags, and Uniforms
Upcycle old school uniforms
Turn old school uniforms into a whole new look! Your eldest child’s old uniform that are in good condition can still be used for his or her coming school year, or passed on to bunso. Try designing old bags with some cool accessories that match your child’s personality. Want to bring yellowing clothes into their original bright white appearance? The solution is just inside your kitchen! White vinegar, lemon, and baking soda are just of the laundry hacks you can use to solve your problems.
Watch out for back-to-school deals
Malls and department stores always have big sales throughout May and June when everyone’s busy for schools’ #FirstDayHooray. Make sure to keep yourself updated of these events. Warehouses and outlets can also be a great place to find cheaper uniforms. And if you are looking for bargain items or wholesale discounts that will fit even your less than a thousand budget, Divisoria in the City of Manila is a go-to destination.
Swap goods with families and friends
Swapping old stuff with other relatives can be a good way to find “new” outfits for your child without spending at all. If you have family members who have children within close age range as your brood, you can invite them to exchange items that would fit everyone’s needs. You can also find interesting goods through online apps like Shoppee, Facebook Marketplace, and OLX.
2. School Supplies
Look inside your home
Does your child have any unused notebooks that you can recycle? Do you have to buy a new set of markers or would refilling it be okay? Are there any remaining unsharpened pencils? Before you go out shopping, be sure to make an inventory of your supplies first. Check if there are available papers in your drawers. Cross out items that you still have. You’ll be surprised at how many you can actually remove from your list!
Stick to your list
Preparing a list of things to buy beforehand will help you cut down your shopping time. Involve your child in list making to help them understand the value of planning and prioritizing. Ask them what kind of stuff they want and guide them in the decision process. Sure, your child would want some shiny new stuff, but when you’re on a tight budget, it makes sense to buy the essentials first.
Buy things in bulk
To help keep school expenses within budget, you can always go to Divisoria to buy bulk items or to supermarkets that provide discounted items for big orders. Buying things in bulk not only save you some cash, but also saves you travel time and transportation expenses. The Department of Trade and Industry has also provided a list of suggested retail prices of basic school items like notebooks, pad papers, and pens for every mom’s and dad’s reference.
3. Daily Baon
Involve your child in meal preparation
As your children grow up, they will soon develop their own food preferences but you can still do things to watch what they’re eating. You can encourage them to plan meals with a weekly budget in mind. You can also go ahead and buy fresh veggies, meat, and other food items then you let your child come up with a menu suggestions from what you bought. You and your child can also try preparing creative DIY baon boxes. Doing all these can help you stretch your budget while helping your children cut their regular trips to fast-food chains.
Add something unique to your regular menu
Sometimes, even the most delicious meals may not seem attracting to your child especially if it’s the same set of meals every week. Add a little spice to meal time by trying different recipes. There are a lot of easy, yummy, and affordable baon ideas online that you can try at home. All it takes is mix of resourcefulness and creativity to make them look forward to lunch breaks again.
4. School allowance
Educate your children about financial literacy
Young as they are, teaching your children what proper spending is like is also a form of investment for their future. It is vital for students to develop a solid foundation when it comes to dealing with financial matters as they grow old and slowly acquire money on their own. If your child knows how to manage their allowance, they will establish strong and healthy money habits early on.
Back-to-school preparations don’t always have to be expensive. You just have to discover which money-saving methods works best for you and your family’s needs.
Want to know more tips on how you can help your child with their schooling? Visit Edukasyon.ph’s Parent Portal now!