After the back-to-school rush, it’s easy to settle into a financial routine that gives little thought to the additional costs that crop up throughout the school year. Of course, you likely pay for packed lunches weekly and school dinners monthly – or even termly, so there are regular costs that you will be used to paying. But what happens when an expensive school trip occurs? Or you need to replace a ruined school jumper or shoes that are too small? While unlikely to break the bank, these expenses can cause cashflow shortfall and throw your budget off for the rest of the month. You can apply for small loans online which is a quick and easy way to cover emergency or unexpected payments. But often we can experience one small hiccup after another, so putting preventative measures in place and creating lasting positive financial habits can reduce your reliance on credit and help keep you in control of your finances.

First step to financial stability

There are a lot of ways to increase your financial resilience and improve your financial wellbeing – both of which are equally important when it comes to managing your money. But having a sustainable budget is invariably a strong starting point because budgeting sustainably leaves room for savings and emergency expenses by maximising your income and reducing your outgoings. It takes a little effort and regular upkeep, but it’s worth having an accurate budget that allows you to save money for potential problems in future. Having a fund in reserve for emergency spending creates financial resilience which is the ability to bounce back after a financial shock. It takes constant work, but the benefits far outweigh the small cons in the process.

Quick tips to reduce school related spending


Buying pens and pencils is another expensive area we often overlook. Unfortunately, some stationery is just very expensive and if you have creative kids, they’ll often want the best stuff. Fortunately, they’ve probably already got a lot of it. For younger kids, rather than buying fresh pens and pencils each term, raid their stationery collection at home first. The likelihood is that most of the pens already work and there are more than enough to fill up a pencil case. You could even adopt an unused make up bag instead of buying a new pencil case or check your local supermarket before visiting stationery specialist shops. This is an easy way to save on back-to-school spending.

School Uniform

School uniform is typically the biggest cost associated with state schools as jumpers and cardigans containing the school logo can be very expensive. If you have a few kids at the same school who all require a couple of each item, you will really start to feel the pinch. Instead, check out second-hand school uniform selling sites or events at the start of each term. Some people are happy to give away outgrown uniform for free, or for a fraction of the cost of buying it new. As children grow out of clothes so quickly, there’s little point in splashing out on new gear each time, only to throw it out in a few months. You can also ask around in case any of the other parents are looking to get rid of some old uniform and consider buying a back-up option from supermarkets in case of emergency. Non-logoed uniform is much cheaper, but some schools are particular about their uniforms so it’s best to check with the school directly if you’re intending to buy generic clothes instead.

School Financial Aid

If you receive income support or tax credits, among other criteria, you may qualify for financial aid at your children’s school. This often means free school lunches and can include discounted school trips. Not everyone meets the criteria, but if you are struggling, there is no shame in asking the school for more information. The scheme was set up to help make sure all children receive the same opportunities throughout their education so if you do qualify, you should take advantage for your child’s benefit. You can also apply for free school meals on the government website and there is a wealth of information online about getting help with funding for school-related expenses.

Managing Cashflow Long-term

Your children are at school for 14 years which means financing school-related costs is not a temporary circumstance change. And if they head off to university, it could mean another 3 or 4 years of financial support. One of the best ways to safeguard your finances against unexpected costs is to have a budget that works for your lifestyle and encourages you to save money wherever you can. Even if you can only afford to save £50 a month, this adds up to £600 over the year which can make a significant difference to your finances, and result in less time looking up where to borrow money and more time improving your financial habits. You can’t always avoid income shocks or cashflow shortfalls, but you can reduce the level of difficulty that results from these mishaps by improving your financial resilience.