4 ways to budget back to school that could help you save money

children back to school

Whether you’ve got one little rascal heading back to school this year or a tribe of three moody teenagers, the cost of heading back to school can be a daunting one. 

And with one week left until those gates open, it’s important that you and your kids are ready (in a way that doesn’t break the bank of course).  

So with that in mind, we’ve put together 4 top ways to cut down the cost of going back to school so that you might spend less and stash more in your family’s savings account

1. Stock up on basic stationary 

While your child may want the flashy bedazzled stationary, try to keep it simple. Buying basic stationary in bulk is a great way to trim down your back to school costs, from pens and pencils to notebooks. And if the stuff your child used last year is still in good shape, don’t feel the need to buy brand new. 

When it comes to things like notebooks and pens, it’s also a good idea to have a few spare as replacements because you never know when the originals might go missing. That’ll save you the hassle of buying new ones throughout the year and could save you money by buying bundles rather than the items individually.

2. Take advantage of tech sales

It’s no secret that the world we live in today revolves around tech, and the same goes for school. The cost of tech these days can be a stressful thing for many Aussie parents so it’s important to get the biggest bang for your buck when prepping your child or children for school. 

Luckily, in the lead up to the start of term there are some back to school deals on tech that shave tens if not hundreds of dollars off the original retail price. 

Similarly, don’t be afraid of opting for cheaper brands on things like headphones or wireless mouses. Like stationary, you never know when your child might lose one of these smaller items so you don’t want to be forking out too much on replacements.  

3. Be uniform savvy 

Uniforms can be expensive, so it’s important to be savvy when buying them. Before you look to buy anything new check the following things: 

Is the uniform still in good condition and still fit your child? If the answer is yes, keep the current uniform and don’t buy a new one … there’s no point splashing the cash if your child doesn't actually need a replacement. 

Are parents around you selling used uniforms for cheaper? Look online, through social media groups or even contact the school uniform shop, you may be able to get second hand uniforms for a much lower price than brand new. 

Will your child likely grow over the next few years? The answer is likely yes, so make sure you buy uniform sizes that are slightly bigger rather than well-fitted. You can always hem or take in uniforms and let it out as your child grows - it’ll save you having to replace them at every growth spurt. 

4. Reduce the cost of lunch 

Just to clarify, we don’t mean to suggest underfeeding your children but rather give them the same amount of food just for cheaper! Rather than buying individually packed items like nuts or fruit, buy these foods in bulk and package them yourself. You may be surprised how much it saves you over a term and over the whole year. Plus, packing these items yourself can  often be the healthier option. 

Also remember, it’s usually cheaper to pack lunches rather than buying from the canteen. So make sure to cut down on how often you allow your kids to use the canteen - once a week or fortnight is enough. 

Need to find the right place to stash your family’s back to school savings? Check out these top savings account options below or head to our savings accounts hub for more!

Compare savings accounts - last updated 4 March 2024

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