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It’s that time of the year again. The festive season has barely passed and back to school is upon us (or for many parents, the first day of school) – and so too are those additional little expenses outside of the year’s fees.

Stationery

Pens and pencils, rulers, exercise books and exam pads, files, scissors and glue, pencil cases, coloured pens, crayons, a calculator, a maths set… The list goes on and the cost quickly adds up. You can easily expect to pay a few hundred rand for back-to-school supplies.

Take stock of what your child has left over from the previous year, and do a sweep of your own cupboards and drawers for loose stationery before you start this year’s shop. Shopping online helps you to buy only what you need, rather than being coerced into paying for a pricier “must-have” item featuring the latest pop star or movie character.

Uniform

It’s amazing how much children seem to grow over the December holiday period. School shorts suddenly resemble hot pants, jerseys stop halfway up your child’s forearm, and you’re not sure how they ever fit into that shirt.
School uniform shops – while convenient – often charge a premium for items that can easily be found at large clothing chains. Do some shopping around at your local mall first for the basics.

Get in touch with other parents who may have children of different ages and organise a clothing swap – many perfectly good items end up shoved into the back of someone’s cupboard.

Textbooks and set works

Particularly for older children, school textbooks and set works can add a heavy load to an already strained budget.
Comb through second-hand bookstores for your child’s English set works and ask around at school to see if parents with older children have copies of the required textbooks that they’d be willing to sell.

You can easily shave off a few hundred rand this way.

The ad-hoc costs

School outings, civvies days and sports days – make sure you’ve set aside a few hundred rand for the ad-hoc costs that crop up each month. Rather than putting yourself through the stress of sending your child to school with an envelope of cash each time, you can take control of these ad-hoc payments with the new innovative Karri mobile app, powered by Nedbank, which sends you reminders of which payments are due and helps you to make quick and safe payments to your child’s school through the app.

Refer your child’s school today – visit www.karri.co.za today to learn more.

This article first appeared on 947 : Tips for saving on back-to-school expenses

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