2018 is around the corner and while planning for the summer holidays, we should also devote some time to ensuring that we manage our expenses in the New Year…

Education has become a costly affair and requires much thought and consideration. “Besides the normal school fees, parents need to fork out extra on uniforms, stationery, extracurricular activities, excursions; to mention a few. This sometimes puts strain on parents’ pockets; especially if these unforeseen expenses are not planned for,” says Ester Ochse, FNB Product Specialist.

Ochse believes that saving for these long-term goals such as education should be a key objective for everyone.

 

 

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She highlights her 10-point plan to ensure that you have enough for your children’s needs: 

1. Research

Choosing a good school for your child is never easy and requires research. Some of the key factors that you need to consider are:

  • Location: Is it in a safe, convenient area?
  • Accessibility: Can you get to the school in time if there is a problem?
  • Cost: Is it affordable for you and your family?

2. Save now!

It’s never too late to start saving for education. Be it for crèche, nursery, primary or tertiary education, we need to ensure that we save enough so that our children receive the best education possible. Even a minimum amount of R300,00 per month can help; this action will help your children reap the benefits in the future.

3. Draw up a savings plan

If saving is difficult for you, then look at Savings Accounts or Unit Trusts that offer you great interest and Return on Investment. FNB offers a wide range of Savings Accounts which gives you the option of accessing now or later.

4. Choice: private vs public schools

This is dependent on your budget and preference. Parents may prefer that their children attend a boarding school, or it’s a family tradition, while others simply prefer the private schooling route. Whichever option you choose, ensure that the school is the right fit for your child and they are comfortable with the space, environment, teachers and other children.

5. Work on your budget

Ensure that your budget is up to date and that you are not overspending in places where you don’t need to. Rather predetermine what schooling expenses you think may come up and add this to your budget. There are many budget templates that you can access that will help guide you through the process.

6. Fees

This includes tuition, school, and medical fees to mention a few. We cannot avoid these costs and they will creep up on us at any point in the schooling journey.

7. General school expenses

Day-to-day school expenses are endless and will add to your budget quite drastically. Many schools advocate that children need to partake in extracurricular activities like netball, chess, modern dance – but most of these activities have related costs. However, ensure that you understand what your child enjoys doing before enrolling them in a class. This will leave you with a HAPPY and HEALTHY child without putting a strain on your budget.

8. Having a nanny

With the increase in cost of living, we find that parents in many households need to work to sustain their current lifestyle. Bearing this in mind and given that you cannot be in two places at once, you may need help at home to look after your children during the day. This also comes at a cost, but at least you can make sure that your child is well looked after.

9. Textbooks

Recycle and get your children’s textbooks via a second-hand shop or a family friend whose child has just completed the course or grade. This will help reduce your costs immensely.

10. Uniforms

Uniforms have become expensive. Today, schools require that students wear both a summer and winter uniform which is costly, as they outgrow their uniform almost every year. Instead of buying it new, purchase the uniforms at a second-hand school shop. In addition, buy a bigger size, so that they can use it the next year.

“Education is a must, and while school expenses are high, we should ensure that we save appropriately so that our children get the best possible education ever,” concludes Ochse.