FOR many families, the cost of a school education can be a significant financial burden.
Add in the cost of an increasing home loan, and it can be tough to balance these two expenses.
It can be an overwhelming and stressful experience that feels like you’re constantly trying to make ends meet, yet still falling short.
So here are a few tips to help you find a balance:
REVIEW YOUR BUDGET
The first step towards balancing these costs is to go over your budget.
Examine your income, expenses, and debts to see where you can make changes that save money.
Consider reducing non-essential costs, increasing your income with a part-time job or side hustle, or refinancing your home loan to lower your monthly payments.
TALK WITH YOUR SCHOOL
Start a conversation early with the school about your situation to see if there are any payment choices or scholarships available.
Investigate the possibilities to discover whether you qualify for any support.
ACCESS COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE
Local community centres and organisations realise the difficulties at this time of year and are doing their best to assist. This includes school supplies and book requirements.
Contact your local centre to see if they can help or point you in the right direction.
PRIORITISE YOUR EXPENSES
If your local community centre is unable to help with school items, then look to access help with groceries via a food bank.
This can free up money from your food budget which enables you to pay school fees and buy related items.
If you are unable to increase your income or lower your costs, you may need to decide which bills to pay first.
Before paying for school fees, prioritise your most important expenses, such as your mortgage and utilities.
SECOND HAND UNIFORMS
Many options are available in this area. Try your local Facebook Marketplace group, talk with the school, or visit your local LifeLine to see what they have available.
Even a pair of near-new shoes can make a big difference to your budget.
If your child attends a private school, and the cost of school tuition is simply too much to manage, the public school system provides an excellent educational experience with teachers who care deeply about your child’s progress.
These options can be more affordable, while still providing a high-quality education.
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
You may feel guilty for not being able to provide certain opportunities or educational experiences for your children.
You might be concerned about how you’ll pay for extracurricular activities or school excursions. All of these emotions can have a negative impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
Take time to talk with others, including the School and Community groups, for support and resources.
GET THE BEST DEAL FOR YOUR HOME LOAN.
Consult your bank or a professional mortgage broker to see whether a better deal is available for your specific scenario.
If you have been with the same loan provider for a number of years, a more recent home loan package may provide significant savings.