Back to school? 6 ways to make it more affordable
Kids are expensive. Here's how to save money and manage costs when kitting them out for the new school year.
It's that time again. Your kids are about to start a new school year and chances are they need new... well, everything.
But the sting of new school equipment doesn't have to be so sharp. There are ways to keep your costs in check without compromising your kid's education.
Reuse, repair, recycle
Is there anything from last year that can be reused or repaired? Water bottles, lunch boxes, pens, clothing? Make an inventory before you go shopping so you don't double up inadvertently.
You can also look for vintage or pre-loved items on Facebook Marketplace, op-shops and eBay. Not only is this more sustainable for the environment, it's also more cost-effective.
Don't worry, it isn't all old and tattered stuff. Often, people list items that are new or barely used because they didn't meet their needs but they couldn't be returned.
Use buy now pay later
Some expenses are unavoidable but you can make them more manageable. Lots of major retailers now accept buy now pay later providers, such as humm, which let you spread the cost of your purchase (or purchases) over a few weeks or months.
For example, if your kid needs a new computer which costs $1,000, you could choose to pay that off in smaller instalments, using interest-free finance from humm.
So, as long as you shopped with one of humm's partner brands (and there are thousands of them) you could pay the $1,000 off over 5 months, at $50 a week. You will be charged a monthly account keeping fee of $8 though.
By the time you'd paid it off, you would have spent an extra $40, but you would have avoided the initial sting of a large up-front cost.
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Check for school schemes
In Queensland, parents can take advantage of the Student Resources Scheme, a non-profit project which aims to reduce costs of materials by buying them in bulk.
If you're lucky enough to be in Queensland, always compare the Student Resources Scheme to see if it's your cheapest option.
Individual schools in other states may also operate smaller projects for parents, so check with your school. If not, you could consider teaming up with a few other parents to arrange a bulk purchase and pass on the savings.
Look for deals
Don't just buy the first items you see. Keep your eyes peeled for deals and make sure to check out Finder's deal page for any current offers.
Even if you find a deal which has expired, it's worth contacting the retailer. In some cases, it may extend the offer as a gesture of good will.
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Use cashback sites
Cashback sites earn a commission when a visitor clicks through to a store from their site. Usually, they'll earn a percentage of however much the person ends up spending.
But here's the best bit: cashback sites share that commission with you. You literally get money back into your account just for shopping online.
The amount of cashback you get varies depending on which store you're shopping with, which cashback site you use and whether there are any offers on. But they're always worth checking out. Even if you only save a couple of dollars on every purchase, it all adds up.
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It would be remiss of me to end this article without urging you to compare everything. It is a comparison site after all.
Okay, comparisons can take a bit of time but if you're sending multiple kids to school, you could easily save hundreds of dollars by doing a few hours of homework.