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With the holiday period coming to an end, it’s time to start preparing to send the kids back to school.

Back to school costs can add up quickly, with school fees, uniforms, books, stationary and co-curricular activities all due at the same time. To help ease the financial pressure, we’ve compiled seven savings tips to take the pressure off and make going back to school a little less scary.

  1. Go second-hand. There’s no need to buy brand new uniforms. Check out your school’s uniform shop or P&C to see if you can grab a bargain. You can also get great quality second-hand books, calculators and laptops or tablets by doing some research on noticeboards, in online marketplaces or even by asking a few of the parents at your school.
  2. Size up. Kids grow out of their clothes so quickly, so save the hassle of needing new uniforms every few months by buying things a bit bigger than they need. Your kids will grow into them in no time.
  3. Spread the costs. Give yourself time to save by holding off on buying the winter uniforms until they need them. It won’t hurt the hip pocket quite as much either.
  4. Make a list. Sit down with the kids and make a realistic list of everything you need to buy for the school year. Don’t let yourself get distracted by the fancy stationary and stick to your list - it will also mean you can buy in bulk for things such as pencils and pens.
  5. Label everything. Replacing a school uniform, book or laptop can be costly. Label everything clearly and use the opportunity to teach your kids about responsibility and taking care of their things. Why not add an incentive if your child manages to not lose anything all year!
  6. It doesn’t need to be expensive. Low cost chain retailers, like Big W and Kmart, will have all your back to school needs. While it is tempting, you don’t need to spend excessive amounts on stationary. You can also do an online order to avoid the temptation of buying a few extra items that catch your eye in-store.
  7. Get ahead and start saving. The cost of education can be difficult for families, with many already facing financial stress this year. To help ease the pressure, it is important you make the cost of education a key consideration in your long-term planning and budgeting. The best thing you can do is to sit down and plan how much you will need to set aside for your kid’s education. You can use bcu’s budget planner calculator to help get you started.

Important information

Information on this website is general and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this information is suitable for your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on the information provided.