As children go back to school do you remember that feeling of new shoes, rulers, pens and school bags? What about that even bigger new school feeling? Can you still remember the dread and fear of meeting new pupils and teachers? Getting lost in a new building was the least of your worries, when you were concerned about having the right trainers or having the big kids push you around?
September does tend to be a month of new starts and here at Better With Money we know it can also stress parents out for financial reasons, so would remind everyone to budget a bit extra after the summer holiday tan is fading, for the extra costs school brings. With the average uniform costing £316 a year for a child at a state secondary school, forgetting this cost when budgeting can cause unintentional credit card use!
In a special report by the Children’s Society they warned that school uniform policies risk dividing pupils into the “haves and have-nots”. The findings, based on a poll of around 1,000 parents, found that 95% thought school uniform costs were “unreasonable”.
Not to be controversial but in my own family experience I disagree. The uniform kids wear is worn for around 38 weeks of the year. Far more than all their other clothes which cost far more and they wear for only short periods of time. The problem is that big expense which again schools do not help families to budget for and it comes at an expensive time of year. The same goes for school trips. Often a letter comes home demanding a deposit payment by the following week and hundreds of pounds in a few months. Having systems to save for these expenses regularly is clearly a good idea and stops families reaching for the credit card. Which in turn pushes them into debt which is difficult to repay. Planning money is something we could all have done with learning at school and can be a great thing for an employer to help employees do. Reducing stress in the workplace by any means boosts workplace happiness and engagement.
If you would like to know more about how you can help your employee’s please get in touch.