The 2023-2024 school year It is just around the corner. Parents and guardians are already preparing to face the challenge that each year involves shopping for the School Supplies of their children. A difficult financial burden, especially for those families with more than one school-age child. The high cost of living, a product of inflation, further complicates this task.
In response to this problem, the Government launched a new school voucher of RD$1,000 aimed at low-income families with children enrolled in public schools, at all levels. Although this bonus represents a relief for many, others consider that it is insufficient, since a WorldRemit study indicates that on average The cost of basic school supplies for this year amounts to RD$11,237 for each child at the primary level.
In Dominican Republic, about 50% of households are single-parent. This situation makes the heads of households become the main breadwinners of their family. María Peralta, is part of the 34.2% of single mothers, which is registered by the National Statistics Office (ONE). With three children in basic, primary and secondary level, the purchase of educational utensils becomes a “heavy backpack” for your income.
Carlos Bautista is another single parent earning a minimum wage of RD$13,685This salary, he assures, is not enough to cover the expenses of his two children’s school supplies. In addition, they must also meet other basic household needs such as health, housing, food, transportation, and electricity. This, without including registration and tuition fees.
Meanwhile, for Josefa Matoswith a child enrolled in kindergarten (initial level) in a private school, spent close to RD$12,000 in 2022. “Practically that was that amount in shoes, uniform and two or three books,” he says. He indicates that in 2023 his second child starts pre-kindergarten, so only registration and tuition must pay RD $2,500 and RD $2,000 for each student, respectively.
So, How can parents or guardians optimize their money when buying school supplies? The first step is planning. the anticipation it becomes the fundamental pillar of finance. This strategy will allow you to compare prices, evaluate the veracity of the famous ‘offers’ and determine the necessary budget.
In addition, as a parent or guardian, it is vital that you maintain constant communication with your child’s college or school to obtain a ‘actual list’ of materials required at your level. Some private educational centers offer benefits and strategic alliances with businesses to access supplies at lower prices.
In general, various school supplies have a useful life that exceeds the school period. Therefore, to boost your income and save on school materials, it is ideal to do a home review of those school utensils that still work like pencils, colors, scissors, some folders, among others. So you can take advantage of the fact that they are still in good condition, or you can also give it a fresh touch with simple changes like a new lining or a custom decal.
If they are lunch boxes or backpacks, you can choose to renew them with patches or stickers school supplies with your favorite characters and they will look like new.
Another alternative is to give your younger brother, neighbor or partner those books or materials that the older one will no longer use because they advanced in grade. You also choose to exchange books or buy used books at a lower cost.
There is a universe of options, you just have to evaluate and decide what function you are going to have. Be creative, as little or much you save your wallet will thank you.
Also, you can search Discounts and promotions in stores that offer additional benefits when paying with a credit card, for example. Do not settle for the first option, compare prices and find the best offer for your pocket.
Regarding brands, think twice before spending more for a simple name. Quality doesn’t always go hand in hand with price, so consider cheaper alternatives without sacrificing style. Evaluate the price, but also its useful life time.
Before going shopping check these 6 points:
1-Budget. Estimate how much money you have for the purchase and make location adjustments.
2-List. Make a list in order of priority. It will help you prioritize and avoid unnecessary expenses.
3-Advance. Try not to leave shopping for school supplies until the last minute.
4-Offers. Be careful with the famous offers, if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
5-Investment. Don’t just trust brands. There are items from unrecognized brands that also have quality.
6-Reuse. Several items have a useful life longer than the school period, take advantage of it.