The 1st of September normally marks the beginning of the school year, where thousands of children will be returning back to school after the summer vacation.  However, this year, due to the threat of COVID it is still unclear how lessons will be conducted and how many students will be in a classroom.

Regardless of whether the children will physically be in a classroom or they will be studying remotely, school supplies still need to be purchased.  Here are some of my financial tips on how to buy everything without breaking the bank.

  1. Ask the children to compile a list of what needs to be bought.  This exercise can be done from Grade 2 and upwards.  Then ask them what is important for them.  I remember my daughter really wanted a fancy pencil case and was not so interested in the school bag.
  2. Before going to purchase anything, I suggest that you, together with the child, have a thorough stock take of what is available in the house. Then draw up a shopping list. 
  3. Once you have the shopping list, I recommend that you go shopping with the child but beforehand, discuss the budget and how much you wish to spend. For children of 9+ give them the money and work with them so that you buy everything they need but within the budget.
  4. For older children, give them the allowance for their school equipment and let them buy it themselves. You will be surprised how resourceful they can be.
  5. Look for hidden places in the store – the unbranded and cheaper products are usually at the back of the store, or hanging very low or very high. A few steps and a little effort can save you a lot of money.
  6. Leave the stock in the store – despite the promotions, there is no need to buy equipment in bulk for the whole year. It is certainly possible to be satisfied with the quantity that will be used by us for the beginning of the year and later to complete equipment as needed. Or alternatively, you can buy the stock, since it can be cheaper, and share it with family and friends.
  7. Lastly, this tip can really save you money. Arrange a place for the equipment you purchased at home – arrange the inventory in the place you allocated for it at home. When the equipment is in order, you will know exactly what you have and what needs to be completed later in the year.

Wishing everybody a successful school year.