School fees and related costs can have a huge impact on the family budget. And with the pandemic still affecting the income of many families, it can be a real struggle to pay them. Sadly, the flow-on effect from this is that it can impact the functioning of our schools as well as teacher jobs and salaries.
School fees are a fact of life when you have children and even though it can be challenging to find the spare cash, they need to be paid. Read on to find out how to stretch your budget so you can fit those school fees and costs in.
Do your budgeting early
Don’t wait until the last minute before you allocate a portion of your budget for school costs. Start dedicating a certain amount from your monthly income as early as you can. The sooner you start doing it, the easier it will be to manage the expenses as the school year progresses. Even if your kids are still too young for school, it’s a good practice to establish so you’ll have a nice amount stashed away when they do start school.
Open a separate bank account for school costs
Out of sight, out of mind as the saying goes. If you want to make sure the money you allocated for school costs doesn’t get gobbled up on some other expenses, it’s a good idea to stash the money away in a separate bank account that isn’t linked to your ATM card - that way it’s easier to resist the temptation to withdraw cash. Just make sure you opt for an account with zero fees.
Switch from private to public
If your children are going to a private school and you think your budget can’t continue to accommodate this, you may need to consider moving them to a good public school. You can read information about the public schools in your area at the My School website or ask around other parents in the neighbourhood who have children in a public school.
Apply for a scholarship
If you don’t want to move your child into a public school, or you simply want to keep them in their current school, then it’s a good idea to see if you can apply for a scholarship. Many private schools in the country offer full or partial scholarships in disciplines such as art, music, science, sports, or math. Find your child’s specific area of expertise and take advantage of it.
Gather school supplies you already have
Keep in mind that we’re not talking about school fees alone here. School expenses also include supplies, and most parents are guilty of forgetting they still have some from the last school year that can be useful for the next. Most of these items are sold in sets and packs, so there’s a good chance that you still have some unused notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, etc. Check your drawers, closet, and even your basement. You’ll be surprised at how much you can stretch your budget by reducing the need to purchase school supplies this year.
Stretch your meals
While we’re on the subject of stretching the budget, one way to make it go further is to stretch out your meals. By adding rice, pasta, canned beans or extra vegetables such as shredded zucchini or cabbage to your favourite dishes you’ll be able to stretch into extra servings. Soups, stews and crockpot favourites can go a little further when you add these dinner recipe helpers. It also helps if you plan your meals for the week so you can pre-prepare your ingredients and only buy what you need.
Talk to the school administration
If you’re in a difficult financial situation, most of the schools in Australia have an understanding administration who can help you find alternatives to pay the school fees. This can include implementing a payment plan, deferring payments until your situation improves, help with books and other school supplies, and waiving fees for various activities, such as sports or other activities. In some cases, you may even offer your services in place of the school fees you owed. The best way to find out what they can help you with is to talk to them as early as possible.
Never compromise your child’s education
There’s no doubt that a good education is the best gift we can give our children. So, no matter what the circumstances are, we should never compromise it. If you’re struggling with school expenses, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our cash loans from $1,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours – so you can stop worrying about how you’re going to pay those school expenses.