School is back and you’d be forgiven for being delighted (or not) as it means the kids are out from under your feet for a few hours every day.
However, school does bring its own challenges and we don’t just mean homework! In fact, one of the main challenges that parents face is not only the back to school expenses but the big and small unpredictable expenses that come out of nowhere that you may not consider into your budgeting plan.
We have some tips to help you and if your child is in secondary school this will be more important as secondary school has more trips, days out and even holidays!
Try and plan for as much as you can.
If your children are in 6th Class, you know they may need extra money during the year for confirmation and the same goes for communion students too.
For older kids, secondary school brings a lot of added expense with trips and activities, so do your best to be prepared. In some schools, there isn’t an overseas trip every school year but there may be in some years, so ask other parents for advice and how much it cost to get ahead and plan for the expenses.
Of course, your child doesn’t have to do everything either and getting into debt to send your kids to Spain isn’t advised but it may be possible with planning and saving for a period.
There's an app for that.
There are so many budgeting apps available now that saving or organising your money is a lot easier than it once was. Finding the right one that suits your lifestyle is key, and while it may take some getting used to with documenting your money in a different way, we promise it is worth the efforts of changing over to apps instead of just using your own head!
Make note of everything.
If you aren’t in the mood to learn how to use budgeting apps you can do the traditional thing and make notes of what you spend. You should have a monthly/weekly budget from the starting point and consider the extra expenses that come from time to time. That way getting a sudden letter about another expense will not fill you with utter dread.
Have a few euros at home for emergencies.
This helps, and it doesn’t have to be a lot, but we know that kids need a few euros here or there and you may not have cash at home. Make sure you keep a jar for these unpredictable expenses and pop a few euros into it every week to balance the ins and outs. Suddenly the raffle tickets, bake sale and rag days won’t be as costly as you’ll have the spare money there in a jar.
Save every week.
Easier said than done and we understand parents are under a lot of pressure (especially at this time of year) but saving that few extra bob each week will benefit you in the long run. For older students, they may need money for trips or study or activities and having some money saved will help with the hit when you don’t want to say no to them.