Fighting to keep on budget

Author : teriann

A lot of people are dreading the start of the new school year. The summer was bad enough with kids home eating everything they could find and running up the light bill as they watched TV or used their electronic devices. There were also the activities such as summer school or camps that parents had to find extra money for their children to participate in those activities.

School Costs

Although there have been recent pronouncements in the media concerning paying school fees in public government schools, this does not affect the private or tertiary level of education. University students run the risk of being denied the opportunity to register if their fees are not paid.

Then there is the cost of textbooks. The cost of books can range between $5000 -$15,000 depending on the age of the child. These books are not used all at once but parents tend to buy them at once which can create an added strain on the budget.

In the past, dressmakers could make the uniforms for students and while this is still practiced, some school administrators prefer that the uniforms are bought ready made so as to ensure conformity. As a result many schools request special modifications on the uniforms that make it more challenging for seamstresses to copy.

How you can reduce costs

Ok take a deep breath, don’t let back to school costs have you in a panic. Here are some tips to stay afloat!

  • Check out back to school fairs

There have been a number of these fairs being held all across the island. These fairs offer consumers a chance to get discounts or even buy used textbooks. Keep an ear out for more fairs so that you can benefit from what they offer. Entrance is usually free for these types of events.

  • Ask for a payment plan

Instead of assuming that you have to pay the entire fee at once. Go in and talk to administrations and see how best you can arrange payment that will suit your needs. Some financial institutions offer back to school loans but be careful of this option as you will end up paying back double the amount.

  • Check books before you buy

It is not necessary to buy books for all three terms at once.  Check with the school before you buy often they are able to tell you which books will be needed in the first term. Some books might not even be used so it pays to wait before running to the bookstore. It is also a good idea to make connections with past students so that they will sell or donate books that your child might need for that year.

So proper planning is needed but there is no need to drown while contemplating back to school costs! How do you keep on budget while preparing for back to school fees? Let’s continue the conversation.

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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