The internet is alive and buzzing with back to school chat, where the best place to find lunch boxes, what size bag should I buy my darling Tarquin, endless articles appearing in your time line beat the back to school blues, depression free drop off, 5 things you should do to prepare for back to school.……Not one of them mentioned wine!
This time last year, I would have read them all, this year not so much as I learnt I’ve learnt through experience. When I was at home in Ireland I was watching the news on RTE the average cost of a child return to primary school is close to €300, granted these non fee paying schools so parents responsible for buying books etc but WOW that’s just for one child.
Can you imagine the cost here in Dubai if we had to buy books etc? The fee’s are increasing each year with the less expensive schools still averaging between 11-13,000 per term, this is without the costs of ridiculous medical fees and diaries for school nurses that do……….in my opinion, not a great deal. This is without new uniforms that schools change at the drop of a hat, prices have been cranked up this year for what I feel is less than mediocre quality clothing adding school emblems everywhere so parents can not even take advantage of supermarket uniforms back home. New bags, shoes, socks, football boots, lunch boxes the list goes on and on.
When your child starts school for the first time it’s so exciting, you buy brand new everything down to the underpants and I’m sure when Miss C starts FS1 next year it will be the same, although I’m trying not to think about that. This year however I’m taking the attitude if it not broke then don’t fix it.
I have brought him two new shirts for school as the others we’re ruined and I do want him to have some of the new uniform, we are lucky that we have the rest of the year to purchase the new design so that’s gives parents a helping hand with the costs. My son has a metabolism that most people would die for so everything pretty much still fits…..when I say pretty much I mean it’s still to big and his shorts will continue to fall down this term.
I am lucky that every summer I go back my mam likes to buy the kids shoes, I think they feel like they get to join in the excitement of school prep as they’re so far away. So this year LPV has had new school shoes fitted properly in Clarks in the UK and new football boots too (in spiderman colours may I add). Yes I am a bad mother and forgot to buy new socks at home………HELP MAM & KELLY However the new shirts and hats are probably my limit this month.
LPV doesn’t have a brand new lunch box this year, why? because he doesn’t need one he has two fully functional in perfect condition lunch boxes already. There’s not a mark on them, they’re labeled so that’s it. He doesn’t need a school bag as he still only needs a book bag, again nothing wrong with so it stays. Some mothers may be reading this and think I being a tight arse and mean, maybe I am but why do we have to waste money and end up with a cupboard full of unused lunch boxes. We would all go this nuts buying new stuff at home? Probably but then we are at an advantage in the UK, schooling in free and the cost of living is lower, not much these days but lower. Here in Dubai as the same all over the world there are families from every type of class system going to schools, some can afford it and drop the fee’s like they’re paying for lunch, some are fortunate to be on company debentures and some struggle to make ends meet and save all year round for school. So why should we put extra pressure on ourselves by increasing the costs of new everything?
LPV is at the age of ECA…The dreaded extracurricular activities, last year he took part in football which I know he is keen on doing again. I will not begrudge him this he loves it helps with his coordination and I’m all for exercise. Again though we are looking at the best part of £15-200 this term for this. I would also like him to take up an instrument, which can be around £20 per lesson and most like an upfront term payment. Money for this money for that it really doesn’t end.
I’ve compiled a wee list of thing I think could help cut cost of going back to school……
- If you need stationary, buy it in your home country if possible and buy in bulk
- If something can be recycled from last year, then re-use it
- Labels- don’t make the mistake I made last year and put your child’s year group on, that way they’ll last another term or so
- Look on groupon and voucher sites for deals (pick up yourself a cheap spa treat too, you’ll need it 😉
- Wait!! If you can wait until school begins chances are it will go down in the sale, if it does buy two!!
- If possible shop for school alone, however this is easier said than done for shoes & clothing etc
- It’s OK to say no, if you can’t afford then don’t buy it
- If Tarqy really wants the Gucci back pack then make him earn it, with small jobs around the house he can save and learn the value of working for something he wants
- Search for deals, super markets, ikea, outlet stores, hit up Baby Bazaar!!
- Pick your favourite and only send them to school………….JOKE!!!!!!!!
So there we have it, how much do you think I could get for my spleen……Photo source, google images