“You can’t plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind.”
– Gordon B. Hinkcley
It’s no news that it is summer, and most schools have shut down for the school year. Parents and their kids are still in the holiday mood and some have even travelled already. But an important season is coming…
School Fees Season!!!!
So how do we make the new school year as enjoyable and financially (and emotionally) stress-free as any other period of the year? May I discuss a few points you may find useful?
The thoughts of fees are usually exasperating for most parents, especially with the school term coming right after the long summer break and the one right after Christmas holidays. Proper planning is the antidote for the exasperation that comes with paying school fees and I usually teach that the best way to stay afloat of school fees stress is to always save on a monthly basis towards it.
Divide the total one-year session’s fees by 12 months and put that sum aside on a monthly basis. It puts you in a good position when the next fees come knocking.
Practical example: You’ve got 3 children and each pays N500,000 per session. The 3 of them must pay N1,500,000 for the year. When you divide that by 12, you arrive at N125,000. That is the minimum you should set aside on a monthly basis, so you won’t be under pressure when the next bill shows up.
Other useful tips for the school months:
A lot of parents still operate the pay-as-you-go method of shopping, meal-planning and all. It’s a lot of stress especially for working parents.
These few tips will help you navigate a typical school session:
Plan all meals ahead
Make a reasonable timetable of the meals for the entire week and bulk-shop/ bulk-cook where possible. Plan what the children would take to school on a daily basis also and ensure preparations are done the night before.
Schedule laundry for the school week and execute according to plan
You don’t have to wash everyday; but in a situation where you have just one school uniform for a child; daily washing becomes a necessity. Get a 2nd and 3rd pair of uniform if possible! You might think it is expensive, but the time you spend in washing every evening (and the stress on the fabric) is more expensive in the long run.
Plan to pack good snacks for the children to school
Reduce junk food, pack more nutritional items for them, especially fruits. Let them get used to eating healthy.
Car-pool with neighbours, if possible
I know of parents who make arrangements amongst themselves regarding school runs. Someone drops off in the morning, another picks up in the evening. School bussing sometimes is a lot more expensive than private arrangements, but some definitely do not have a choice.
Re-evaluate the need for after-school lessons
Do you keep your kids in the after-school program because you won’t be able to get there on time or do, they really need it? The lesson or the lesson teacher arrangement also; is it worth the while and very effective? What alternatives do you have?
Try to get some more time off
How does your work or business benefit (or suffer) as a result of the school session? It’s time to reflect and see how to make changes. I had a chat with a lady sometime ago and she was complaining about how her work schedule was negatively impacting her life and family. I asked her to ask for some reduction in her working hours and a day off; you know what? She got it! You might be able to negotiate a better work arrangement if you ask for it!
Article written by Sola Adesakin for “The Tech World of Finance ™️ (www.wofin.org)
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