CCR Magazine

CCRi banner ad
You are here  :Home arrow News arrow Back to school costs push families into the red
Contact Us Newsletter Signup RSS Feeds

Latest News Headlines

Headlines

 
Commercial Credit News

Headlines

 
Back to school costs push families into the red PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 September 2017
Parents who increasingly have to fork out for iPads, extracurricular activities and uniforms when their children go back to school, are being advised to budget carefully to avoid being pulled into a cycle of debt.  

PayPlan, a free debt advice provider, says that while the price of uniforms has been driven down in recent years, families still have to pay out for tech equipment, branded blazers and sports kits, as well as sport, music and after-school clubs.

According to research from Nationwide*, the average cost of going back to school in 2016 was £186.24 per child, with clothing and shoes accounting for the biggest spend.

Jane Clack, money adviser at PayPlan and chair of the Institute of Money Advisers (IMA) warned that the high costs could compound debt problems for householders already struggling financially:

“September has always been an expensive time of year for parents who need to kit out growing children with new uniforms, coats and shoes. Of course, technology like iPads and laptops can really help pupils with their studies, but there’s no denying that it comes at a cost to parents, who may have to take out a loan or use a credit card to pay for it.

“All this comes at a time when a lot of families are seeing their finances squeezed because of the summer holidays when they had to spend more money entertaining the kids as well as paying for childcare.

“We shouldn’t forget that winter is just around the corner, so once back to school season is over, people may find themselves with higher energy bills and the expense of Christmas. Wherever possible, it makes sense to be frugal now and plan ahead.”

To help you save money and avoid getting into debt this autumn, Jane has compiled this list of tips:

Uniforms
Look out for buys from the budget supermarkets – including Aldi and Lidl’s complete kit for just £3.75. This can be a cost-effective option when your kids are growing quickly and you need to replace clothing in a few months’ time, but bear in mind that low cost doesn’t necessarily equal good quality. I always suggest speaking to other parents to find out what they recommend.

Know what you can claim
Speak to your local council to see whether your child is eligible for free school meals and remember too that there are other grants to help with clothing costs.

Technology
Speak to your child’s teacher about what your child really needs for their studies, rather than what they tell you. It might be that, instead of an iPad, you can buy a cheaper tablet that will do the job just as well. If a more expensive device is needed, ask the school whether you may be eligible for a grant and/or if you can spread the cost over the year rather than paying upfront on a credit card. Just remember to enquire about any potential interest that you might incur on these payments.

Transport
The cost of public transport can soon escalate, so explore the alternatives. Does your school run a ‘walking bus’ or could you start a car club with other parents, taking it in turns to ferry a group of children there and back each day?

What else can help?
There are some obvious measures like doing an inventory of all your children’s uniforms to make sure you are not replacing garments that could still be used for another year. If your child has simply grown out of a uniform, but it is still in good condition, see if you can sell it via the school or online. Finally, if you do need to take out a small loan, consider using a credit union rather than a bank because the interest is usually much lower.

Seek professional advice to pay down your existing debt and you should be on track to start the school year with a healthier bank balance.
 
CCRI
3 October - Guoman Tower Hotel, Central London 

CCRInteractive, in association with Marston Holdings , is the largest and leading one-day conference from the publishers of CCRMagazine – a truly national and international event for the credit industry.

This landmark event allows delegates to: Learn best practice of how to increase profitable sales in today’s economy. Understand the key compliance issues and how they will impact upon you. Discuss the legislative and regulatory framework and how it will effect you. Consider the potential effects of Brexit on your business. Discover the latest innovations in the market to improve your collections. Motivate your staff to achieve ever improved results.

To book to attend in 2017, contact Stephen Kiely  or Alison Lucas. To find out more about being part of this landmark event, please contact Gary Lucas
CCRI 

 Forums International Ltd

Forums International Ltd

 Attendance at your first meeting is free of charge, and please quote reference 'CCR2016' to receive the special 10% discount off of your first annual subscription.

Find out more here.

latest issue

CCR Cover

The latest edition of CCR Magazine, the leading editorial publication in the UK credit industry, is out.

Read the latest issue online

The Credit Excellence Awards

Awards 

Tuesday 3 October - Guoman Tower Hotel, Central London


Do not miss your chance to meet and network with the Winners and Finalists at the Credit Excellence Awards, in association with Hoist Finance.


To book your place to attend, please contact Alison Lucas.


subscriptions

CCR is the premier magazine for consumer and credit professionals. It provides an independent voice to the industry, breaking major news stories and running in-depth features.

As a magazine, it works with and campaigns on behalf of the credit industry to promote its importance as a centre of potential profit and business development to the wider business world.

Subscribe to CCR Magazine

CCR World Magazine


 

Providing information and analysis for thousands of senior credit professionals worldwide, every quarter.

Find out more

GTS Media Ltd
81 Cambridge Road
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS1 1EP

Registered in England No: 05483197