Parents shell out £165 to kit kids out for school
Kids are back to school this week, but American Express hasn’t been slacking on its summer holiday homework, it’s been busy researching the cost of school for parents and it’s come up with some expensive conclusions.
Namely that if you’ve got two children heading back to school this summer, you’ll be £332 (£165 per child) lighter by the time you say goodbye at the gates.
Here’s the breakdown of its findings, based on a survey of 2,000 parents with children aged between four and 18:
|Item(s)||Average cost (based on two children per family)|
|Uniform and PE kit (inc. coat, shoes, trainers and other equipment)||£224|
|Stationery (inc. calculator)||£23|
Cut the cost of school
Of course, you can instead be Money wise and cut down costs. Here are some top tips:
- Get kids involved in the shopping process. Give your child a budget and work together on their back to school shop. You can spot deals together, work in an impromptu maths lesson, and teach them about the value of money.
- Cut the cost of uniforms. While some schools have a uniform so unique that they can only be bought from specific shops, other schools are more flexible. If this is the case, think about buying items from swap shops, charity shops and using hand-me-downs - just don’t tell your kids where they came from. Also check supermarkets for budget-busting uniform.
- Reap cashback rewards. If you’re buying on your credit card, ensure you use a cashback card or loyalty card to make money on your spending. For example, if you buy school uniform from George at Asda, check out the Asda cashback credit card, which pays 2% cashback in-store, including on the George range
- Buy the basics and soup them up. Buy plain supplies and some stickers, glitter, or other embellishments and encourage creativity in your kids - you never know, it might even get them excited about going back to school and it’s likely to be much cheaper than already jazzed up goods.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.