*Collaborative post* 

School can be an expensive time for any parent and it can also be a worrying and stressful lead up to when they go back. There seems to be a never-ending list of things your child wants or needs or both. For any family on a budget, some of these costs can come out of the blue when you least expect it. Perhaps a new pair of shoes is needed, or your child is getting bored of the same sandwich day in day out. 

School Prep

These last few months have meant children have been out of the classroom for longer than intended, and so September might be a worry for both you and your child. But don’t let this overwhelm you, there are few things you can do to ensure that you keep those costs down, and avoid stress while your child is at school without the need for sacrificing your own sanity. Hopefully it will help you prepare and thrive in this next school year. 

Don’t stress when it comes to school attire

Children need clothes to wear to school. Of course, it may be a uniform, or they may need to wear something that they are comfortable in. It can be difficult to ensure that you get the right attire, and the costs can mount up if you are not careful. It may be worth having a “school wardrobe” for your child and purchasing some of these items online can help keep the costs down. 

Help them where you can

Sometimes children can find school frustrating, and this can be for a variety of different reasons. It might be that they are struggling to watch videos or see things from the back of the class. This is when getting an eye appointment booked in and looking into an order online so that they can feel confident in the classroom. It might be checking their hearing or making sure they are keeping hydrated throughout the day. It may even be frustration down to school work, so extra work at home where you help them and discuss things could enable them to feel happier in the school environment. 

Relax when those birthday invites come pouring in

Having a child in school means that you may get a number of invitations for birthday parties and events throughout the year. This can be a scary prospect for any parent on a budget when you think of the amount of gifts and cards you have to buy along the way. A great tip is to have a present cupboard where when the opportunity strikes to purchase something at a bargain price, you can purchase in advance. This also helps for those last minute invitations when you have no time to purchase a gift or card. 

Preparation for some procedure and process changes

There is no denying that there is still a threat that we all face, and so you may need to take some extra precautions to ensure that your child can enjoy school while keeping safe. It might be that your school wants face masks introduced for school drop off and pick up, or maybe they need to think about social distancing and how that will work. It will be new for everyone so try and understand where school is coming from and embrace the changes. 

Be inventive when it comes to school lunches and snacks

School lunches can get rather boring if you are sending your child in with the same sandwich and snack each day. So be inventive with your lunch boxes. Don’t panic, this doesn’t have to cost the earth and can sometimes work out a little cheaper on your food expenses thanks to things like batch cooking and meal planning. Pasta salads and wraps are always a winner, and they can be prepared in advance. 

Save a little each week for unexpected field trips

School often means that parents are left with the financial burden of field trips. These can vary in cost from small amounts for day trips, right up to a larger amount for a vacation or trip away. Of course, these are all educational and worthwhile for your child, and many parents encourage their child’s involvement. But finding the funds can be a little tricky. Preparing for this can help massively by saving a small amount each week for this eventuality. If by the end of the school year you have not needed as much. then you have a head start on buying equipment for the next school year. 

Let’s hope this helps you keep the cost of the school year down.