52 Practical Ways to Save Money Around The Year – Chapter 9: September: Back to School Outfits. Don’t spend unnecessarily.
Are you prepared for the new school year? How can you save yet fully equip yourself with all equipment you’ll need?
Payday Loans Net is a payday loans provider. We bring you this chapter on September, detailing how you can save on school uniform, extra curricular activities for your child and yourself, and pointers for car boot sales. We offer payday loans of between £200 to £2,000. However, we bring many tips for you on how buy back to school outfits for cheap at this time of year. In this way, you may not need to take a payday loan.
In chapter 9 of easy and practical ways to save money, you’ll find handy tips about:
- Firstly, Suggestion No. 1: School uniforms & school supplies – what to buy; whether good quality clothes are worth it; where & when to buy uniforms; second-hand uniforms; financial help from the council; buying school supplies
- Secondly, Suggestion No. 2: Children’s extracurricular activities – be selective; organised sports & clubs; private lessons; buying sports attire/equipment & musical instruments
- Suggestion No. 3: Adult evening classes – discounts & free classes; turning hobbies into money-earners
- Finally, Suggestion No. 4: Taking part in car boot sales – finding & preparing for the car boot sale; cutting down on your expenses; what to do with unsold items
After the freedoms and expenses of the summer, autumn is a season of new beginnings. If you have school-age children, it’s time to start preparing for the beginning of the school year. Therefore, we begin this guide of practical money-saving tips by looking at ways you can save on the expenses of purchasing your children’s school uniform and all the school supplies. You also might like your children to take up some extracurricular activities, so we explain how you can make savings on clubs, sports and other organised pastimes.
And what about you? September is also the month when evening classes start. We consider who’s entitled to concessionary fees and how you can put learning a new skill can to your advantage. Finally, if you often have a clear-out after the summer, we show how you can make money from the things you no longer need by taking part in a car boot sale.
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The new school year: Back to school outfits
Suggestion No. 1: Paying Less for School Uniforms & Supplies
Parents in Britain spend £52 million a year on school uniforms and that through the course of your child’s education from infants’ school to secondary school, you could end up paying £4,000 for back to school outfits alone? Despite this, there are ways to cut the amount you spend dramatically.
Some schools are more demanding than others about what they expect parents to buy so go through the list carefully. Concentrate on buying the must-haves and leave the items which are recommended but not compulsory until later on in the year. Your children will soon let you know if they need something from the recommended list. You can buy it later when you see there’s a real need for it.
Children often outgrow their back to school outfits in the course of the school year. Think about buying one size larger and taking up hems, for example. Alterations such as letting out waistbands can also mean that their back to school outfits will last longer before being replaced. You’ll get more use out of your back to school outfits, and wont come to need same day loans to pay for school uniform.
Weigh up the pros and cons of buying hard-wearing clothes of high quality compared to cheaper less well-made items when you buy your back to school outfits. It might be worth spending more if you have younger children who will be able to wear the uniform in a couple of years. Clothes will need to stand the cycle of wearing, washing and ironing. Often cheaper clothes show this wear and tear more than costlier materials. Don’t forget that your children will wear the uniform for around 36 weeks of the year. Bear this in mind when you look for back to school outfits.
The only exception to this rule with back to school outfits is school shoes. Buying cheap can often be a false economy. Shoes must be durable enough to stand the hard wear they get in the playground. If you need to replace the shoes every term, you won’t save very much money. Ill-fitting footwear can often damage growing feet.
Where to Buy School Uniforms
Uniforms vary enormously from school to school with the most expensive items being clothing with the school badge/logo on. For the other more generic parts of the uniform such as white long- and short-sleeved shirts and skirts and trousers in plain colours, the best places to shop are supermarkets and department stores, in the back to school outfits section. Often they’ll have bargain packs of 2 or 3 items at a reasonable price. Don’t be tempted to go overboard though – remember that kids are more likely to grow out of clothes than wear them out. The golden rule for shirts is 3: one to wear, one in the wash and one in the wardrobe. This will help you when you go to purchase your back to school outfits.
Most often, you will make the bulk of your purchases in September but during the sales keep an eye out for special offers and buy several sizes larger to keep for successive years. Buying out of season can be cheaper. For instance, if you buy long-sleeved shirts in the summer you may pay less. Bear this in mind when you need back to school outfits.
Second hand school uniforms
In a recent survey, 60% of parents questioned said they bought part/all of their children’s school uniform second-hand. Very often children grow out of the uniforms much faster than they wear out. Getting a second-hand uniform doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in bad condition. This is a great way to save pounds. If you ask around relatives, neighbours and friends with older children, you’ll be able to find parts, or even all, of the uniform completely free of charge. If you don’t know anyone, you should contact your children’s school to see if they or the PTA arrange donations of uniforms or arrange swaps. Perhaps you could start up such a scheme? In this way you won’t need to use a payday loans direct lender to finance the new clothing.
Alternatively, you can find second-hand school uniforms in charity shops or online. It’s worth visiting www.schoolreviewer.co.uk since the site organises a buy and sell forum by the educational establishment, so you’ll find the exact uniform you need. As the seller is based locally, you can arrange a pick-up time without paying extra for postage. The other benefit of this site is part of the proceeds go towards your school’s PTA, so you’ll be helping the school too.
Finally, if you’re unemployed or on a low salary, some discretionary financial help might be available from your local authority. This support depends on the area where you live and can vary enormously across the UK, so it’s quite literally the luck of the draw. You should contact your local authority to see what aid you may be entitled to; they won’t pay for the whole of the uniform but will contribute to the back to school outfits.
Before you hit the shops to buy stationery supplies, it’s worth checking drawers and cupboards to see what you already possess. You’ll most probably be surprised how much you can save in this way. Check prices in supermarkets, online and in pound shops for what’s missing from the list.
Younger kids especially often want to buy things like bags and lunch-boxes decorated with cartoon/film characters, pop groups or football clubs. The problem is that this stuff can cost on average 30% more. There are some ways to deal with this issue.One way is to go shopping for school supplies alone, or you might want to compromise by allowing your child to have one more expensive item. Maybe they could pay for one with their pocket or birthday money. This has the added advantage of teaching your children about the value of money.Alternatively, you can decorate a plain lunch-box with a collage of pictures cut from comics and then covered in waterproof plastic. Not only will the craft project keep your child happy for an afternoon but it’ll cost you a fraction of the price.
Suggestion No. 2: Save on Children’s Extracurricular Activities
As a parent, of course, you are concerned that your children should do some extracurricular activities. It offers them lots in terms of confidence-building and improving their social skills. However, when you take into account the price of club dues or lessons, the specialist equipment/clothing and the transport costs, one pastime can work out to be quite expensive. What can you do to offer your child the best without paying too much?
A 2015 survey of children’s free time found that they were spending on average 8-9 hours per week on extracurricular activities, which is quite a lot when you consider they also have projects and homework to do for school. It’s easy to be tempted to load your children with a variety of clubs and sports, so they don’t miss out on anything in their formative years. You should realise that children need unstructured play or leisure time too.
Sports & Clubs
There’s an enormous variety of clubs which children can join, but one of the most popular worldwide are the various branches of the scouting organisation. Fees vary according to the group but are usually around £50-£100 a year (although you have to pay extra for the uniform and any trips). If you’re facing financial hardship, the scouting troop will often waive the fees, and you can arrange this in confidence. The other benefit of this organisation is that the sheer variety of activities on offer means your child may not wish to take up anything else.
Other clubs in your area might be held in community centres and village halls. Since volunteers run these clubs, monthly dues tend to be nominal, just to cover the hire of the venue and related expenses. You might be entitled to a discount if you volunteer to help with the club or its fund-raising activities.
Private lessons are the most expensive way for your children to learn. Whether you’re interested in tennis or music, having a group lesson can mean the price of lessons will be more than halved. If you can’t find any group lessons available for your child, ask if the tutor will set a lower price to teach your child with friends/cousins. Alternatively, look for recently-qualified teachers who will charge less, or go onto a locally-based skills-sharing forum and see if you can swap private lessons for one of your own skills.
Spend Less on Sports Attire/Equipment & Musical Instruments
The best time to shop for sports attire is at the end of the season when shops will sell off last year’s kit or athletic shoes at incredibly low prices. You can find sports equipment and musical instruments can be second-hand at bargain prices. As well as checking in the classified ads section of your local media, community noticeboards and going online, visit charity shops, car boot fairs and jumble sales. Surprisingly enough, you can find the best bargains for musical instruments since people will often buy them in their enthusiasm to learn and then give up quite quickly.
Suggestion No. 3: Adult Evening Classes
Every school/college offers various classes depending on the availability of teachers and demand. There is an enormous variety of lessons to choose between including computer skills, foreign languages, cooking, gardening, DIY skills, photography and so on.
The price of courses can depend on how many times the lesson is held, for how many hours and where you live. As a general guideline, they’re around £70-£100 a term – much cheaper than forking out for private lessons. However, if you’re the recipient of income-related benefits, you’ll be entitled to reduced fees. Many courses which lead to a qualification (such as GCSEs) are completely free. If you’re hoping to fill in gaps in your academic record, you should contact your local council as you might also be entitled to funding for exam fees, books, course materials, etc.
Evening Classes – Turning a Hobby into a Money-Earner
Doing a course can make you more attractive to an employer and so improve your chances of finding employment and/or being promoted. Apart from that, doing an evening course can help you save money on your monthly expenses. For example, doing a course in basic car maintenance or DIY can save you a fortune when it comes to paying for a mechanic or plumber to do a simple repair job Ch.6. Why not do it for yourself?
After doing some courses such as cooking, arts and crafts you might find that you possess an undiscovered talent. You could choose to make gifts for family and friends Ch.11. Perhaps you can also sell your creations online or at craft fairs. Why not make some money from something you enjoy doing?
Suggestion No. 4: Taking Part in a Car Boot Sale
Car boot sales are held from spring to autumn throughout the whole of the country and are advertised in the local press. You can, of course, find information about ones held further afield. Balance how much you’d pay for petrol costs travelling that far. Don’t forget that the pitch at a boot sale costs around £10. You don’t want all your profits to be swallowed up by your expenses.
Car Boot Sale
Finding things to sell at your car boot sale shouldn’t be a problem. We all have cupboards, wardrobes and attics full of stuff we no longer need or unwanted presents. In theory, anything you can sell anything, although you won’t get high prices for larger pieces of furniture or dated electrical appliances. Seeing as you’ll have to make an early start in the morning, load up the car the evening before.
Whether you price your stuff beforehand is up to you. You’ll find that many people at such sales wish to barter so you might want to leave it. Use supermarket techniques such as ‘3 for £1’ and prepare to drop the prices later in the day. If you don’t feel confident or you wish someone’s company, you could share a pitch with a friend. However, you should agree on the financial aspect beforehand. Will you split the money down the middle or keep your takings separately? Alternatively, you could get the whole family involved. It’s one way of encouraging your kids to part with toys they’ve grown out of, at least, you’ll have someone to watch your pitch when you need a break.
Car boot sales can last well into the afternoon so although there may be food there; you might want to bring refreshments and snacks from home. In this way, you don’t spend all your earnings on something to eat and drink. Another thing to decide beforehand is whether you’re going to do any shopping. The advantage of being there early to set up is that you get first pick of the bargains. However, it’ll come out of your takings. You might see it as a trade-off; getting rid of stuff you don’t need but taking home stuff you do.
If items remain unsold after you’ve dropped your prices, you have to decide what to do with what’s left. You could, of course, return home with them and keep them for your next car boot sale. Perhaps you could donate them to a charity shop or jumble sale. This way, you’ll know that you’ve also raised some money for a good cause.
Conclusion: How to spend less in September
Payday loans net is one of the UK direct loan lenders. We tell you that September can be a potentially expensive month for parents with all the additional expenses of schools and extracurricular activities. However, there are ways to save money on all the clothes, supplies and equipment you’re expected to buy. You should also think about taking advantage of the evening classes run by local authorities. Most of all, there’s no cheaper way to learn, and you can turn any new skill into a money-making opportunity.
Buying second-hand is becoming increasingly popular in the UK as families feel the pinch. Instead of just buying, you should profit from the trend by taking part in a car boot sale. Only doing it twice a year could make you an extra £160 and this sum is sure to come in handy to cover some of your expenses.