How to budget funds for the school year
For many Kiwi families the cost of going back to school is one of the biggest financial burdens of the year.
A survey of 450 families by The Warehouse Group found 51 per cent said going back to school was the big or biggest cost. Families reported spending on average $ 372.67 per child to equip them for school.
Family Budgeting Services chief executive officer Raewyn Fox said in recent years she had noticed an increase in clients, most of who were families with children.
She was used to dealing with families struggling with the back-toschool- budget at this time of year, and advised parents to plan.
‘‘ In New Zealand school goes back within a month of Christmas, which tends to compound the problem,’’ she said.
‘‘We really encourage to think of school as well when they’re thinking about the costs around Christmas.’’
School uniforms were one of the most expensive items for parents to get hold of, and Ms Fox recommended hunting in second- hand shops or asking around the community.
Parents should talk to schools to see if there are relief funds or payment plans.
The issue of voluntary donations was a tricky one, she said. ‘‘Parents sometimes feel children are disadvantaged or left out of trips and things if they don’t pay.
‘‘If it’s a choice between paying a voluntary donation and keeping a roof over your head or feeding the kids ... you have to look at the consequences."