Whether you have become a parent recently or already have multiple children in school, there’s always room to start saving more money on the little. When it comes to saving, it’s rarely about big, crazy lifestyle changes that save you hundreds, it’s about the little decisions you make which add up to a lot of money.
Parents of young children often find themselves struggling to save money, simply because being a parent demands a lot from your wallet. There are school uniforms, lunches, the commute, afterschool clubs and even more that come together to make a major dent in your funds. That’s why we’re going to talk about a couple of ways you can reduce these costs and free up some cash for the more important things in life.
Plan the Commute
The first and least used way to save a little cash is during the commute. Everyone approaches the commute to school and to work differently because it depends on your specific situation, however, there are some general tips you can use to save the pennies until they become pounds.
Firstly, make sure that you are travelling for as little time as possible. Particularly if you have a young child, you will likely be taking them to school personally and then either going to work or returning home afterwards. Some parents will be able to walk or cycle to school with their child, which is great considering you won’t need to worry about fuel. For those parents who drive or catch public transport though, the shorter the travel time, the more money you are saving. Get Google Maps out and plan your journey. What is the fastest route to school? From school, what is the fastest route to your next destination? This will save both fuel and money in the long run.
Be sure to keep in mind what rush hour traffic does to the roads. If the traffic is awful, it might be more efficient to go a slightly different route. Experiment with it and find the best option for you.
School lunches have always been a hot topic and if your child is below Year 3, you’ll have the benefits of free school dinners. For parents of older children though, the question of finding the right lunch for your little one is important. From both a monetary and health perspective, packed lunches really do leap out as the most efficient option, however, there are some things to keep in mind.
Firstly, it’s important that you make sure you aren’t sacrificing nutritious food options simply for the sake of saving money. There are countless affordable children’s lunch ideas which you can use to find inspiration or get ideas, it’s just a matter of seeing what your child likes and working around it.
Secondly, make sure your child is happy with their lunch by getting them involved when you are making. Whether your child is in a secondary school playground or an early years outdoor play environment, they will be using their energy up during break time and if they don’t eat what you make them, it will just leave them tired and unengaged in the classroom.
Finally, make sure that the food you have put together is of an appropriate size. This will help keep costs down and make your purchases go further, whilst simultaneously keeping your little one healthy and happy.
Hand-Me-Downs and Repairs
Finally, don’t be afraid to use hand-me-downs from family, friends and anyone else you know. Hand-me-downs are a brilliant way of saving money no matter your age. Similarly, don’t be afraid to practice your sewing skills in preparation for some haphazard uniform repairs. This is really important if your little one loves to run around and be a little rough. Looking after school uniforms is an art-form in itself but learning some basic maintenance skills will help you repair that shirt or tie so that it lasts another few months before you need to buy another.
Hopefully, this post will have given you a few ideas on how you can save some money with your children at school. Remember, it’s the little things that make the difference so always look for those deals and small savers.