Tips to help with Back to School costs


News story



Sending the kids back to school in September can be expensive and a strain on household finances. The cost of new uniforms, school bags, stationery, and books all adds up. After the cost of days out and keeping the kids entertained during the summer holidays, the annual back to school spend comes at the worst possible time!
According to a survey from Equifax, parents pay on average £296.82 to kit their child out for the new school year at school. Many parents find themselves dipping into savings to cover these essential costs, or over-spending in a last minute panic. So how can you avoid breaking the bank or over-spending in a last minute panic?

Back to School Tips
Here are some saving tips we have put together for keeping back to school costs down:

  1. Have a pre-school spring clean – you probably have pens, pencils, paper & other bits around the house. You could make a saving just by gathering all the stationery you have squirreled away, rather than buying new.
  2. Make a list – check the uniform list provided by school to see what is essential and what is ‘encouraged’ but not ‘compulsory’.
  3. Spread the cost – avoid buying everything at once, if you can. If your child isn’t changing school, check their current uniform and only replace what you really have to.
  4. Buy clothes a full-size larger – your child will soon grow into them!
  5. Label everything – school uniform is easily lost! Label clothing so it can hopefully be returned to you. Look out for washable iron-on labels or special clothes marker pens to help you label everything easily. Don’t forget to label bags, water bottles, lunch boxes, stationery etc. too!
  6. Look out for special offers – lots of shops & online retailers offer deals, multi-buys etc. Check out magazines, newspapers and sites like MoneySavingExpert for offers, vouchers & discount codes.
  7. Seek out cheaper alternatives – essentials such as socks, plain shirts, trousers and PE shorts can be purchased in supermarkets and online for alot less than school uniform shops.
  8. Secondhand is fine – you don’t have to buy everything new! Many parents often pass down school uniform to younger siblings, so why not do the same and swap with other parents too? Many schools host clothes ‘swap shops’ where you can buy trousers, jumpers or shoes that other parent’s children have outgrown, and you may be able to sell your kids outgrown items to raise some extra cash too.
  9. Start a saving account – No matter how good your budgeting is, you can almost guarantee more school expenses – school trips, after-school clubs, music lessons and so on. A Eastern Savings & Loan Share Account is perfect to help you save a little every month as part of your budget, to ensure your kids get the most out of their year ahead

Need help with the costs now?
An affordable Child Benefit Savings & Loan Plan could help with back to school costs. Your manageable repayments include a saving amount, so when you’ve paid back your loan, you’ll have saved money too! For more information & to apply online click here.