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Saving on ‘back to school’ items

Francis Muli @PeopleDailyKE

It is that time of the year once again and back-to-school shopping season is here. Although it might be a joyful time for exhausted parents everywhere, it is not a cheap one.

As back-to-school season arrives, anxiety grows and this is the time most parents get high blood pressure. Every resource seems constrained and hopelessness looms.

However, this should not be the case. It is time to exploit every avenue possible to make your child get the best in school without facing frustration.

The first thing you should take advantage of is back-to-school promotions. It will cut you a lot of expenses that come with hiked prices of school commodities during the back-to-school period.

If any retailer comes up with discounts to attract customers during this period, don’t think twice but go for it.

In line with promotions, it is not all the time that we have them. In this case, if you happen to find educational materials being sold at a cheaper price that your child might need, buy and keep it. It will reduce you expenses when that time to go back to school comes.

An adage goes “make hay while the sun shines”. When you have money, do things that pertain to education of your children. You can pay their fees in advance to keep your child in school.  Not all the time you will have enough money to cater for all your needs including your child’s education. Paying for education will cater for the times that you will have no or less money.

It is also advisable to apply for bursaries when opportunities arise. Some people will say that bursaries are for the poor, but who determines the level of poverty that deserves a bursary? If you can save yourself Sh5,000 by applying a bursary why not go for it?

Also, learn to start planning for your child’s back-to-school immediately after closing. Look at the fees structure, get their shopping needs and how much they need for pocket money. You can do their shopping during the holiday, pay fees in bits during this period and by the time schools open, you have only pocket money to cater for. Life seems too expensive when bills are accumulated.

Lastly, involve your child in back-to-school plans. They might have brilliant ideas that will help you reduce cost, and in case you do not have enough money, they will at least understand the situation unlike when they are not involved.  And not just with the shopping. Have them join in as you prepare. They will learn great lessons about budgeting, finding a good deal, and the difference between wants and needs.

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