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10 Tips For Affordable Back To School Buying

Back to School costs hit parents at a time when you've just spent a fortune keeping the kids amused over the summer holidays, and maybe spent twice as much as usual on childcare costs while the kids were off school.

Whatever your own particular situation, the cost of sending a child to school is expensive and it's worth planning for. If you haven't thought to put aside money for that expense throughout the last year, then here are some tips to help ease the pressure and save some Euros:

  1. If your child's school has a school crest on the uniform, check to see if you can purchase the crest separately and sew it on to a generic uniform.

  2. Generic uniforms are available in all of the main retailers. Don't leave it too late to buy uniforms, as the size you want may sell out quickly.

  3. Keep receipts. You may find that you've overstocked, and the receipt will allow you to get your money back or buy a bigger size for next year.

  4. Maybe it's an obvious one, but check hems to see if you can let them down for the coming year, rather than buying new.

  5. Check in the local shops and on local social media sites to see what school items you can buy second hand (e.g Books, Stationary, unused Uniforms.

  6. Talk to members of the school's Parents Association, to see if they know of any such sites or sales. Also, check with them to see if there are any plans to move to generic uniforms or book-lending schemes.

  7. School shoes are best left until just before school starts, as your child's feet can grow at any stage.

  8. Bulk buy stationary such as copies, binders, and pencils; to get the best value for money.

  9. Check out any local discount shops or €2 shops which have good deal on stationary supplies.

  10. If you didn't get around to saving money throughout the last school year in anticipation of these school costs, then now is a good time to start planning for next year. By saving €5 per week, you could build up €260 in the next year, to help towards those miscellaneous school costs.

If you need to borrow to pay for these expenses, be sure to check out the small print: Are there any documentation fees as well as interest charges? What will the regular repayments be? Are there any penalties for early/late repayments? Do a little research, and shop around for the best terms, and rates.

Check out the Government's Back To School allowances, to see if you are eligible to receive any financial assistance towards the costs. The allowance is means tested and available to those on low incomes. For further details visit www.citizensinformation.ie

Read Next: 21 Ways to Be A Money Savvy Mom


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