12 Jan

UASA Media Release: 12 January 2023

Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:

Back-to-school expenses are an annual financial stressor for most parents. School fees, transport, uniforms and stationary challenge parents’ disposable income.

While schools in the inland provinces started yesterday, schools in the coastal provinces will open their doors a week later, on 18 January, and many parents are still counting cents and going shopping to buy the necessary items. The trick is to plan in advance.

There are steps you can take to prevent the stress of back-to-school expenses.

Make a list

Most schools provide parents with a book and stationary list of items to be bought before the new school year. Some stationary items are subject-related and may be added during the year. Also include new clothing items your learner might need.

Draw up a budget

A parent is usually well informed about what the new school year will cost, even when their learner is changing schools. Use your list to draw up a budget and do your shopping accordingly. Add additional items as the year progresses.

Discounts and promotions

Before spending anything, watch specials and promotions by visiting websites and online retailers. Compare prices, and don’t forget the cost of travelling to several shops or the delivery costs of online purchases.

Set money aside

Just in case you forget something or your learner needs additional items later in the year, money set aside for this purpose will assist in making ends meet. Also, remember the cost of school assignments, excursions, and birthday gifts for friends or a teacher. Try to set money aside for back-to-school in 2024. Put a certain amount in a savings account every month for each of your school-going children, and you will have a much less stressful start to the next school year.

UASA encourages workers to take back-to-school expenses seriously and not leave them to the last moment. Planning and taking action ahead of time will go a long way towards coping with inflation and the increasing cost of living.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162.

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