How Much Money Should I Keep by for my Children’s School Uniform?

School uniform can be really expensive and is it is natural that some parents will worry about being able to afford it. It is also wise to be prepared financially in case you have to replace uniform. Children grow a lot and this could be the main reason for having to replace it but sometimes uniform gets lots or damages and it may need replacing then as well. It is worth learning more about school uniform, making sure you know where you can get it and then working out how much money you should keep by for it.

Facts about uniform

It is worth knowing that in England school uniform is only compulsory in state schools for secondary school children. This means that for any child aged under 11 in a state primary school, the school has no force to apply regulation uniform. The government only enforces a uniform policy for secondary schools. This means that if you cannot afford the uniform then there is no way that the school can enforce a uniform policy. Of course, the school might try to do this and the child may feel that they need to fit in by having the uniform. It does mean though, if they have lost a jumper, for example, you should be able to send them in a non-uniform one until you have the money to afford a replacement.

It is possible to get financial help towards the cost of uniform once your children are in secondary school. There are certain criteria to fulfil to get the help but if you are struggling it is worth finding out if you can get this. The school will probably be able to give you information about it.

Often in secondary schools the uniform list that is sent out to parents is out of date or not quite right. For example, a school may have an overall on their uniform but the school could provide them. They may have multiple pieces of PE kit but then only certain ones get worn. Try to find out from parents who have children currently at the school whether this is the case as it could save you money if you do not have to buy everything.

Where to buy uniform

It is worth knowing that most schools will have second hand uniform available to buy. Often this is organised by the PTA but school themselves may deal with it. It is wise to find out as soon as possible so that you are able to start looking. Second hand supply could be quite limited but it is always well worth taking a look at what is available. You may find that some schools will have a much bigger supply than others, but it is always worth checking as you could save a significant amount of money.

Many parents do not feel comfortable with buying second hand shoes because of the importance of looking after growing feet. However, when it comes to sports shoes, it could be worth a thought. Often a pair of football, rugby or hockey boots will only be worn for one term a year and they are probably too small by the following year. If your child is not in a sports team and so only wear them for a small amount of time then it could be worth compromising with a second hand pair.

You might be able to find second hand uniform online as well. Some parents might choose to sell it on social media for sale pages or in other local areas, rather than donating it to the PTA. You may even find some in local charity shops so it is worth keeping a good look out for it.

Most schools will be affiliated with a specific shop that will sell their uniform. Make sure that you become aware of any sales that they have or any loyalty or discount schemes so that you can save money if possible.

How much money to keep for uniform

It is worth finding out how much replacing uniform will cost so that you know roughly how much money to keep in. If your child is changing schools then you will have to buy a whole set of uniform and PE kit all in one go and that can be really expensive. However, if they are already in a school then it is likely that you will only have to replace certain items. However, if their feet grow then you may need enough to replace shoes, trainers and football boots or if their legs get longer you may need to replace trousers and jogging bottoms etc. It is therefore wise to make sure that you have enough to replace multiple items of clothing. You should also make sure that you consider how many sets you will need to replace. You may have two jumpers, for example so you can have one on and one in the wash so if they grow out of it you will need to replace two.

It is worth remembering though that you might be able to take out a loan if you do not have enough money saved up. Although a loan is costly, it can be reassuring to know that you have this option to fall back on should you need it.

Is it a Good Idea to have a Credit Card?

A credit card is something that some people just take for granted and always have. However, there are others that are rather more cautious and perhaps do not have one because they are worried about them. There are different possible reasons why people might have concerns. It is worth addressing some of those so that people can think in more detail about whether they feel that their concerns are warranted or not.

Not being able to repay

There are many people that get worried about repaying loans such as credit cards. This is understandable but there are things that you can do to make sure that it is easier to do it. Firstly, always set up a direct debit so that the whole of the credit card is repaid when the bill comes. If you do this then you will not get charged anything and you will know that there is no outstanding debt. You will still get up to six weeks of interest free credit on the card, but by paying it all off on time, you will not pay anything for that. However, you will of course need to make sure that you have not spent too much on the card. If you have spent lots then you could find that it will be too expensive for you to repay it all or you will not have enough money left to pay for everything else you need to buy if the amount is too high. This means that it is important to monitor what you are spending. Most cards will allow you to check the balance online so you will be able to do that to check how much money you owe. If you do not have online access or do not like the idea of banking on line because of security fears then you could just note down what you are spending on the card. Then you will still be able to check that it will be affordable.

Spending too much

Some people worry that because they have a card with credit on it, it could mean that they will just use it to buy lots of things and spend too much. This could happen as well. Some people will think that the money is theirs to spend and that they will go out and treat themselves and then they will have to find the money to repay it. With a credit card, you will have the option of repaying in small instalments and this can make the loan much more manageable. However, interest will be charged and this can mean that the loan will end up being really expensive. If you think that you are this type of person and that it is likely that you will overspend on the card, then you have two choices. You could ask for a really low credit limit so that you can only spend an amount that you can afford to repay or you could go without a card entirely. You will need to think about which you think might work the best for you.

Security issues

Some people worry about the fact that their credit card or credit card number could be stolen and that they will then have money taken form them. This is something that does happen but credit card issuers are aware of it. They will all have fraud departments which will deal with problems like this and the chances are that any fraudulent activity will be sorted out and you will not have to pay for items that have been purchased after the card was stolen. They even monitor activity and if they see anything strange they will block purchase son the card to protect you. You can protect yourself as well. Make sure that you do not leave your card behind in a payment machine or carelessly lose it. If you fear that your details have been stolen then report it right away so that the card can be cancelled to prevent any further spending taking place on it and the issuer will set about refunding your account with any purchases that you did not make.

So, whether a credit card is a good idea for you is a very personal issue. You will need to think about whether you think that it will be useful to you. Consider the benefits of having a card and then decide whether you think that those outweigh the negatives. Some people find their cards extremely useful and never pay anything towards them but others are constantly owing money and pay high interest charges so you will need to decide what type of person you are likely to be and therefore whether the card will suit you. Be honest with yourself and then you can be confident that you are making the best choice.