(Québec) Just back from vacation, we already think of returning to class. No resting! We will again have to hurry in the morning, set aside time for homework in the evening … and make numerous purchases for the school year that begins! But this summer expenses, which can quickly exceed $ 300 per child, is rarely included in the family budget.
A survey conducted in 2014 by Ipsos Reid for Visa Canada found that 52% of Canadian parents with children aged five to sixteen felt that the preparations for the new school year were stressful for the family. The event came in second place after Christmas and the winter holidays. And during this period, spending on school supplies and clothing (58% of respondents) stressing that most Canadians homework (42%).
The key is organization, argues Sylvie De Bellefeuille, lawyer and financial advisor at Option consommateurs. “The problem with the re-entry is that it’s a little considered an unexpected expense; it has not given in the regular budget. It can be quite expensive for some people.
“Some teachers have a lot of imagination on the colors of bags and Duo-Tang. But there are also all the expenses side. Many take the opportunity to renew the wardrobe and there are many schools that require at least two pairs of shoes. “When we add to all that the purchase of a computer, the bill up quickly. Especially as these costs often arrive after family vacations … which also cost more than expected!
Plan in September
In 2013, according to the Quebec Retail Council, Quebec families that include a child or children attending primary or secondary school spent $ 576, or $ 363 (median values) per child, for purchases of school across all purchases. Clothes, shoes and other fashion accessories accounted for the largest share of the bill, or $ 300 per family, or $ 200 per child.
It is too late to make reservations for September 2015, but Ms. De Bellefeuille recommends parents to plan those next year in September, relying on the amount disbursed this summer. By transferring a monthly amount into an account dedicated to school expenses will avoid going to dip into funds for Christmas gifts, for example. For this year, even when you can enjoy a few tricks to reduce the bill (see table).
Do not forget: in addition to the school supplies and clothing, parents often have to issue a check from the first class days to cover certain costs such as photocopies. However, parents of children who attend public school should have to buy the notebooks in which we write. “The textbooks, normally, the establishment providing the” notes Ms. De Bellefeuille.
For a smart planning, Option consommateurs proposes a budget table, to download, on its website: goo.gl/JBKz1O .
Cooperative Home Economics Association of Grand Portage also offers an online planning tool, also available in mobile: www.acefgp.ca .
Having a smart wardrobe without breaking the bank
The temptation to renew the wardrobe small in September is strong. But this is not always necessary. Yes, the youngest, who has grown up, will surely need new shoes and a few pairs of pants, but why buy new jerseys while those of last spring it always will?
Laurence Bareil, author of The Bible smart shopping and host of the show The Queen shopping on Canal Vie, indicates that the balances of July and August are a great opportunity to save on items to be purchased. So you still have a few weeks to enjoy! The pro shopping also suggests subscribe to online newsletters of your favorite stores. We will notify you by email about the bargains and you can enjoy the best prices.
Not to exceed its budget, a fitting session is required. Ms. Bareil suggested a list of items to purchase, issue of not realizing unnecessary purchases and unnecessary expenses. For this will require that Junior is ready to play: we need to sort out what still fits and what is too small – or too worn!
Without breaking the bank, Ms. Bareil argues that it is worth “investing” in some clothes, especially when it comes to comfort. “The coats and shoes are items for which, very often, the economy is not worth the candle, she has expressed to the Sun, by email. Better to pay a bit more and make sure the coat and boots will be hot, and the sneakers will hold the foot well and will be comfortable. “Meanwhile, winter coats made may well pass the test of time and even be worn by a younger brother or younger sister.
For a trendy look inexpensively this fall, the queen offers shopping to get some practical elements like light cotton knit hats, scarves, a watch or colored socks and patterned. These are all inexpensive items that add much to look, she said.
The basic clothing to own
Assuming two washing sessions per week (do not forget that washing the clothes worn!), Laurence Bareil argues that a student will be enough:
4 pairs of pants or other “low”. Two pairs of jeans, a sports pants and a khaki-style pants, for example. The pants can be worn twice before being washed, unless an accident.
6-8 high (including t-shirts and long sleeve tops)
2 type jackets “hoodie”
To avoid being caught unprepared in the morning and make sure that children do not break the head with fixtures, Ms. Bareil recommends ensuring that all parts fit together with each other.
The simplest is when all the stockings are neutral (black, navy, gray, beige or khaki). We can thus marry them to any color high.
Tips for reducing the invoice
We do not throw binders and pencils when the holidays are coming! And we do not have to start the year with new. To save, gather school supplies that can be reused before lighten your wallet. Remember to check whether items siblings can be transferred to the youngest.
Peel the circular: several balances are taking place in supermarkets and pharmacies. So do not limit yourself to stationers and office supply stores.
During the year, watch for sales to buy the items you know you will have renewed the following year. No need to wait the return to a supply of pencils, notebooks and loose-leaf.
Question to avoid extensive travel and the rush in shops, it is also possible to shop online.
If a discount is advertised on an item after your purchase, you can ask the merchant to give you (call evidence in support). The latter may decline, but some accept to maintain or build customer loyalty.
Sources: Office of Consumer Protection and Sylvie de Bellefeuille Option consommateurs