Money Tips: Back To School

23 January 2017 / Published in Your Money

While the New Year signals an exciting new beginning, it can often be stressful for some families when costs roll in as the kids go back to school.

With school fees, stationery, uniforms, technology, extra-curricular activities as well as the aftermath of Christmas bills, it’s often not the easiest start to the year for many Kiwi families.

Here are a few tips to take control of your money and ease the pressure. Start 2017 with a clear plan for success!

Make a list.

Before you hit the stores to stock up on school supplies, think about what can be re-used and take a full stocktake of what you already have. Once you’ve done this you can see exactly what’s needed and stick to it. If you know clearly what you need, it’ll stop you from unnecessary spending.

Ask family and friends for anything that can be re-used or handed down. You might be surprised at how many items you can tick off your list.

If your kids are starting a new sport or hobby this year, check Trade Me for lightly used gear that you can pick up at a fraction of the cost. Equally, if there are sports that your kids have abandoned, sell their gear to help fund any new hobbies or sports.                                                                                                    

Take control of your debts.

Christmas holiday spending can quickly add up. Credit card bills, store card bills and hire purchases can weigh you down after the break and it’s easy for this to become overwhelming when you start to think about the new school term.

If you’re managing multiple interest rates, payment times and amounts, it could be a good idea to consolidate your debts into one easily managed loan. Organising your finances smarter could actually save you money and put you back in control – one way of reducing stress as you think about the upcoming school year.

Read more about an ASB debt consolidation loan and see if this is right for you. 

ASB’s lending criteria and terms apply.

Write it all down!

If you’re having trouble understanding the bigger picture, it’s a good idea to write down your budget so you can understand what money is coming in, and what’s going out. Understanding your money visually can give you more confidence when it comes to thinking about the upcoming school expenses so you’re able to plan ahead.

You can use Spend Tracker in the ASB Mobile Banking app to see trends in your spending each month. It automatically categorises your spending for you too.

Learn from experience.

Keeping track of this year’s expenses is a good way to make next year even easier.

Tracking how much you spend preparing for the new school year lets you understand the costs and your budget. Going into the Christmas holidays with an understanding of your upcoming commitments will also help you make better decisions – especially if you’re guilty of impulse treats while in the festive spirit. Use the learnings from this year to set savings goals for next year and enjoy the summer break knowing you’re prepared.


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