10 Hidden Costs to Prepare for When Your Child Starts School
#CashConfessions: Tuition is just the tip of the iceberg.
CREATED WITH CASHALO
Here in the Philippines, a child's tuition eats up 18 percent of the household income. But it doesn’t end there—other fees and expenses can add up throughout the school year, especially if you have more than one child.
Below are the other school-related expenses (and their estimated costs) you need to anticipate to help you plan your budget better:
The amount you need to allot may vary especially when gas prices fluctuate. For those with private vehicles, the moms we surveyed say they have a gas allowance of P2,000 to P4,000 a month, depending on the distance between their house and the school. For those whose kids ride the school bus, moms pay an average of P4,000 monthly. Taking public transportation? Depending on the number of rides it takes to get to school, it can cost you anywhere from P100 a week (if all it takes is a jeepney ride) to P100 or more a day (if it entails several rides).
This amount varies greatly, depending on whether you buy your own food from the grocery store or give your kids money to purchase food from the school cafeteria. This also depends on how long kids stay in school; younger kids only need snacks for recess while older kids will need more for snacks and lunch. You can peg grocery-bought snacks at P20 and home-cooked meals at P50; for cafeteria food, it's reasonable to give P30 to P100 per day, depending on their needs and the prices at the school cafeteria.
3. Field trips
Most moms say they don't pay for school trips anymore since they’re already included in their children’s tuition. But it's prudent to give your child some extra money for emergency purposes or for food and souvenirs. If you're feeling generous, you can give P500 and up for this purpose.
If you're a working parent or have a child who needs extra help with his lessons, you may need to hire a tutor with an average fee of P500 per hour. The rate varies if you're hiring a tutor from a tutorial center or a private tutor who will go to your house. The rate also depends on the number of subjects to be reviewed with your child.
5. New school shoes
Kids can't last a school year with just one pair of black shoes. Because of daily use and your kids' growing feet, shoes may need to be replaced mid-year. Moms spend P1,500 to P3,000 a pair, depending on the brand.
6. School kits and accessories
At the start of the school year, students are requested to prepare a GO-bag and a grooming kit that cost around P500 each. You might also have to purchase daily necessities such as socks, a handkerchief, and insect repellant totaling around P1,000 for the whole year.
7. School supplies for projects
Aside from the required supplies to be used in school, you need to keep a stash of art materials for take-home projects. Moms we surveyed spend P500 to P1,000 a year on colored paper, sheets of cartolina, illustration board, beads, bottles of glue, pairs of scissors, and other materials.
8. Fees for school events and programs
School fairs, book fairs, school masses, and the annual Family Day mean expenses that can amount to around P3,500 to P5,000. You'll also need to allot money to donate to dental missions and outreach programs.
9. Costumes for school events
Buwan ng Wika, the storybook parade, Halloween, Christmas parties, and Moving Up Day are just some of the occasions you’ll need to spend for. Some parents reuse costumes, but for a new one, you’ll have to shell out P500 to P1,000.
10. Extracurricular activities
If you enroll your child in basketball camp, you will be asked to buy a jersey and a good pair of training shoes. Or if you have a budding ballerina, your child will need ballet shoes and costumes for recitals. Prepare to spend P4,000 to P8,000 a month.
Keeping track of—and paying for—these expenses once the school year begins can be overwhelming. To plan ahead or give you some breathing room when your budget is tight, check out the Cashalo app. It allows users to directly apply for a loan online and get their cash in as fast as 30 minutes upon loan approval.
All you have to do is download the app, create your profile, provide relevant personal information, and follow the loan and payment method.