How to bud­get funds for the school year

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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."

Raewyn Fox

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