If keeping your kids occupied during the summer wasn’t expensive enough, parents will already be thinking about the funds needed to pay for back to school expenses. On average, parents will spend £189 per child to prepare them for another new year at school. Education is vitally important but it certainly isn’t cheap.  

To give you a head start, here are 8 ways to afford back to school expenses so you can save a few bob or two along the way. 

1. Change the school run 

Dropping off and collecting the kids offers more security but it costs a lot more in terms of petrol. If you can, share the school run with other parents, or if it’s possible to walk there and back, try to do so. 

2. Pay for items over time 

Loans don’t have to be for thousands of pounds and you can take out a short term loan for a few hundred to cover the costs of back to school expenses. The money can be in your bank account quickly so you can buy what you need. Instead of paying for it all in one lump sum, a short term loan allows you to pay back the money in fixed instalments. Just be sure to use an FCA-regulated and reputable lender. 

3. Make packed lunches 

It may not be the coolest option for kids, but giving them packed lunches will save you a lot of money. School dinners are getting more expensive by the year. Plus a packed lunch ensures you have more control over what they eat when away from home. 

4. Use the local library 

You may have to buy books for your child’s reading lists or for particular projects. Sites like Amazon have great deals on second hand books. The local library also allows you to loan books for a certain period. They even provide access to printers, DVDs and digitised books if needed. 

5. Shop off season 

Retailers tend to discount clothes heavily in autumn as they try to sell items they were unable to during the summer. The quality will still be the same but at a cheaper price. There’s a little guesswork as to what size they might need in 9 months’ time, but you can always buy and store them away until they grow into them. 

6. Plan and budget 

Making a clothing budget and sticking to it will make a big difference. Check what is currently in the wardrobe and suitable for use in the next year. This will cut down on what you need to buy. Then set a budget you can afford without breaking the bank and list the items you need before tracking down the best deals. 

7. Label their belongings 

The excuses kids make up for losing their uniform and study equipment is as frustrating as it is hilarious. Although, every year £187 million work of school uniform is lost by children in the UK. Label their clothing with a permanent market or iron-on labels so even if lost, they can be returned to save you buying replacements.  

8. Reduce childcare costs 

Paying for someone to look after your kids after school is one of the biggest expenses paid out by many parents. Schools often run after-school classes that ensure they remain occupied, safe and all-the-while cutting down on your childminding costs.  

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