Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

4 easy tips for going back to school

Back to school

Like the Christmas ads around the corner to signal that winter is nearly here, right now it's all about back to school signalling the end of summer. And what does back to school mean for you and your family? Whether you have kids in school or university is a part of your life, read our 4 easy ways to make back to school work for you.

1. Set back to school routines 

Back to school means getting to grips with new routines. From the weekly spelling homework and after school clubs for the kids or adults continuing their education, plenty of families are getting to grips with new routines in September. Start as you mean to go on, set specific times for important things during the day, such as waking up to get everyone ready without rushing, meal plan weekly dinners so you know in advance what to buy and cook and of course set times to tackle homework or housework. 

Bedtime is an important time for everyone, whether school-aged or not. Make this a time for relaxation and preparation for the day ahead. While it might feel like a rush trying to squeeze in the nightly routines such as brushing teeth and choosing clothes for the next day, it is important not to let it get chaotic. Allow yourself the time you need for each task and make sure you aren't struggling to do everything at once and keep stress levels low. 

2. Back to school offers

Take advantage of all the back to school offers. It could be a good time to look at buying new tech like laptops and phones as there are good deals available, but remember the golden rule, it's only a good deal if you wanted the item in the first place! Don't be tempted to buy things you didn't actually need. And always remember to check out reviews online, popular tech items usually attract a lot, so use this to your advantage. And don't forget to compare prices and find the best available deal. 

3. Use student discounts if you can

If you or someone in your family is a student there are lots of special offers and discounts open to students. Check online for different products and services that you use to see if there are any available discounts. Software packages often have generous student discounts, for example. Also, there may be student groups to join that offer more deals, such as an NUS TOTUM card that offers discounts across all sorts of shops, restaurants and services.

If you are a parent of a student, let them make the actual purchase instead of you buying it for them, so they can receive student discounts. Encourage older students and teens to keep their eyes open for student offers when they are thinking of what they need for school or their studies.

4. Factor in unexpected expenses

With all the additional costs associated with going back to school it can be easy to get caught out by other expenses that can come up and catch you off guard. Whatever your back to school (or work) budget is, add some room for surprises or a rainy-day fund. Also, many students only find out when courses have started about extra needs or activities. For that reason, be prepared to still make last-minute purchases or have other expenditures further into the autumn.

Whatever back to school means for you, take this opportunity to get organised and ready for the year ahead.

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Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk. Representative example: APR 1270% if borrowing £400 for 4 months. Interest rate: 292% p.a. (fixed). Total amount repayable: £665.48 by four instalments of £166.37. Maximum representative APR: 1604% if full loan repaid after 7 days.