Back To School Tips

Sending the kids back to school in September can be expensive and a strain on household finances. The cost of new uniforms, sports equipment, school bags, stationery, books and technology mounts up for parents. 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 academic 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 great tips we’ve put together for keeping back to school costs down – 

  • Make a list - check the uniform list provided by school to see what is essential and what is ‘encouraged’ but not ‘compulsory’. 
  • 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. 
  • Buy clothes a full-size larger - your child will soon grow into them! 
  • Label everything - school uniform is easily lost!  Label clothing so it can hopefully be returned to you.  Look out for washable iron-on labels like Easy2Name or special clothes marker pens to help you label everything easily.  Don’t forget to label bags, water bottles, lunch boxes, stationery etc. too! 
  • Second-hand 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. 
  • Seek out cheaper alternatives - essentials such as socks, plain shirts, trousers, and PE shorts can be purchased in supermarkets and online for significantly less than school uniform shops.  Also, don’t overspend on expensive lunchboxes, bags and other items that are quite likely to be lost or damaged before long.  Will they really know the difference? 
  • Look out for special offers - lots of shops & online retailers offer early-bird deals, multi-buys etc.  Check out magazines, newspapers, and sites like MoneySavingExpert for offers, vouchers & discount codes. 
  • Have a pre-school spring clean - you probably have pens, pencils, paper & other stationery around the house.  You could save a fortune just by gathering all the stationery you have squirreled away, rather than buying new. 
  • Look out for sales throughout the year - grab a bargain and buy clothes in sales throughout the year for when your child grows out of their uniform or ruin their current clothing.  This helps spread the cost too! 

Need help with the costs?

Remember, if you need help with back to school costs a Voyager Alliance loan could lend a hand. With bite-sized repayments straight from your pay, a Voyager Alliance loan could be cheaper than you think.

Check out our Loan Calculator to see how much a Voyager Alliance loan might cost!