With the current cost of living crisis squeezing household finances even further, this year’s back-to-school budget is likely to be tighter than ever before. Alongside the more obvious expenses such as uniforms and stationery, there are also unexpected costs, both educational and extra-curricular. Here we’ve listed a few of the surprises to watch out for at each Key Stage; plus, some tips to help ease the financial burden without limiting your child’s opportunities…

KS1 (age 5-7)

Dress-up days The start of a new term means the start of a new topic and usually, a fully immersive dress-up day. Add to this World Book Day, Comic Relief and Children in Need, and parents can end up having to create half a dozen outfits across an academic year! New costumes can cost as much as £20 each, but with a bit of creativity (and a few days’ notice!), home-made outfits can be rustled up for next to nothing. Face paints, old clothes and even bedsheets can all be repurposed. And if you get your child involved too, creating a fancy dress costume can be a fun activity!

Book sales When the book fair comes to school, it can be hard to manage your child’s expectations and explain that no, they can’t have all 10 of the titles they’ve selected! While encouraging a love of reading is vital, it’s important to set a budget beforehand and perhaps limit their choice to one special book. Explain that you can visit the library straight after to borrow anything they like (for free!) and suggest adding anything else to their birthday or Christmas list.

KS2 (age 7-11)

Leavers’ events As your child prepares to leave primary school, there’s usually a run of ‘goodbye’ events that can quickly add up. From discos and pizza parties to mini proms, the pressure to say yes to everything can be hard to resist. To keep costs down but ensure your child makes those special memories, why not volunteer to be part of the organising committee? That way, you can have a say on what’s being arranged and ensure it’s suitable for ALL families – not just those with deep pockets!

Residential trips Instilling confidence and independence, the first residential trip is a rite of passage no parent wants their child to miss. The cost can easily run to a few hundred pounds so, if you can, set aside a small amount each week or month from the start of term to spread the cost. And don’t be afraid to speak to the school if you’re struggling to raise the full amount – as detailed below, funding is available for families most in need to ensure no child misses out.

KS3 (age 11-14)

Music lessons The start of secondary school offers pupils the chance to learn a musical instrument. Most schools will offer free taster sessions, so encourage your child to take advantage of these first to make sure the French horn is something they really want to play! Once you’re sure they’re committed, speak to their music teacher about borrowing an instrument. And if your child is in receipt of free school meals, there may be financial assistance to help with the cost of lessons.

Laptop/tablet Technology has transformed the way children are taught in secondary schools, and even more so since the pandemic. There is now an expectation that every pupil will have access to a laptop or tablet, with most homework being set via Google Classroom or similar. Many schools provide tablets free of charge to every new joiner in Year 7, but if your child’s school doesn’t, speak to their form tutor if this is an issue.

KS4 (age 14-16)

Duke of Edinburgh Participating in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme gives teenagers the chance to try new skills, help their community, and increase their confidence. It’s also a great thing to add to a CV or UCAS application. To keep costs down, ask friends and neighbours if they have any camping equipment you could borrow, or see if the school has any stock they would be willing to loan. Encouraging your teen to get a part-time job or fundraise to help contribute to the cost is also a great way of increasing their independence further!

Prom Proms are big business! As well as the cost of the ticket, there’s also the outfit, hair and make-up, and even travel – limo, anyone?! Encourage your child and their friends to go vintage – online stores like Vinted could save you a small fortune when it comes to a prom dress. Hiring an outfit is another money-saving option and ask any talented friends or family for help with hair and make-up. If your teen absolutely insists on arriving in a limo, make sure they split the cost among their friendship group so they don’t break the bank!

Pupil Premium Funding The Pupil Premium is additional funding from government aimed at Reception to Year 11 pupils who are from low-income families and are eligible for free school meals, or have been at any point in the past six years.

If you’re struggling with payment for any educational expense, contact your school’s Pupil Premium Coordinator or Headteacher. Pupil Premium funding can be used by schools for a variety of activities, including:

  • Providing music lessons.
  • Funding educational trips and visits or after-school clubs.
  • Paying for speech and language therapy.
  • Covering the cost of laptops or tablets.

Posted in Budgeting on Aug 22, 2022.

Jason Bovington

Written by Jason Bovington - COO

Jason became Chief Operating Officer in July 2022. He joined Everyday Loans initially in 2006 as part of the start up team implementing the credit risk strategy and building the analytical capability as Head of Credit Risk and Analytics. In his time with Everyday Loans he has also held the roles of Chief Risk Officer and Chief Credit Officer. Prior to joining Everyday Loans Jason spent 10 years at HFC Bank with his last role there being Credit Risk Director and prior to that he was part of the Credit Risk team at Lloyds TSB.

You may also like...

Enjoy a Cost-Of-Living Friendly Coronation Celebration

Enjoy a Cost-Of-Living Friendly Coronation Celebration

With King Charles III's coronation set for Saturday, May 6, 2023, many people are planning to make the most of their time off. Locals and tourists will line the streets between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey in London to watch the Royal Proc...

How to Transform Your Garden on a Budget

How to Transform Your Garden on a Budget

As the warmer weather approaches, many of us will be thinking about making the most of our outdoor space – dragging out the barbecue, inflating the paddling pool, and dusting off sun loungers. The Met Office has predicted 2023 will be hotter than 20...

Learn The Best Times To Get A Deal On Your Next Car

Learn The Best Times To Get A Deal On Your Next Car

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Car? If you are in the market for a new or used car, there are some tips that will help you know when to buy. We have compiled a list of the most helpful advice below to give you the best shot at finding that perfect de...

Terms of Use:

The Everyday Loans News and Blog area is for informational purposes only. The information provided shouldn’t be seen as advice. Using any information in the blogs or news articles is at the reader's risk.

The information posted is accurate and true to the best of Everyday Loans knowledge at the time of publication.

Everyday Loans doesn’t accept liability for the information provided on third-party websites. It reserves the right to edit, amend, or remove any post at any time without notice. The external links in the blogs are not affiliate links, and Everyday Loans won’t receive any commission if the reader clicks on the link.