Break the anxiety come back to school season, moms. Aside from the long list of school supplies to shop for, books, and uniform, of course we can’t forget the most important expense: TUITION FEES!
Most seasoned moms with school kids already have a system in place for saving up for their children’s tuition fees. If this is your first time, this guide should prove handy for you. It’s still April so you have at least 1-2 months to prepare (albeit last minute!). But don’t worry, there’s a hack even for saving money for enrollment!
A First-time Mom’s Guide on Saving up for Tuition Fees and School Supplies for Back to School
Tip #1: Get the tuition and other school fees’ breakdown as early as possible.
Know what you’re up against, mommies! Usually, the schedule of fees is key factor in deciding where your child will enroll in. So even before the current school year ends, visit the admissions office and ask for the list of fees to pay. Aside from knowing about the tuition fee amount, you’ll also get some idea on whether the school charges for unnecessary line items. How much is the miscellaneous fee? Factor in if you’ll be paying for other requirements like educational trips, child insurance, medical and dental check ups, etc. Evaluate if you can actually save more if you pay for these items up front, or if you’d rather not pay for extra miscellaneous fees.
Here’s a standard back-to-school checklist for every grade school level, including Senior High School, College, and even a checklist for teachers!
Tip #2: Save at least 6 to 12 months ahead.
Once you have decided on which school and the total amount of fees to pay, devise a savings plan by dividing up the total cost by 6 or 12 months. That means you put aside a certain amount every month to financially prepare you come June or August when most schools start.
Mommy Joanne Gardon (mom of 1, Kindergarten) says: “One year pa lang, naka peg na yung tuition budget then divide by 12. Every month, pagdating ng sweldo, nakatabi na yung amount na yun hanggang sa mabuo ang estimated na budget na kailangan ko.”
Tip #3: Set aside some money before splurging during Christmas and summer vacation
The high income/shopping/splurging season happens around Christmas time and just after the school year ends: summer vacation. I’m sure you don’t want to lose money come enrollment time – more than missing out on a Christmas or summer trip with the family. However, you can achieve both if you discipline yourself to set aside cash during the high income season. Companies give out the 13th month pay, and some reward employees with summer bonuses, too. Put some love into the tuition fee jar. We can all plan for a cheaper or less expensive DIY family vacation. But education is more important, and in the Philippines – it comes at a high price. So prioritize wisely.
Tipidmommy.com, Gracie Miranda-Maulion (mom of 1 kid, incoming Kinder) shares: “…Keep the bonuses para hindi biglaan ang labas ng tuition fee.” She also adds, “If budget is really limited, homeschool the kids during their nursery and kinder 1 level. That’s what we did and we saved two years of tuition fees. We decided to enroll our son to a regular school now that he is in Kinder 2 which is the Deped Requirement.”
Tip #4: Take advantage of discounts when you pay in full.
Just like big ticket items in the malls, you get some discount when you pay in cash – in full. Check this with your school and find out how much you can save in fees if you opt to pay in full. Some can save even up to P4000 pesos. That means you have some funds left for buying books and other school supplies.
Lorelyn Dedicatoria (mom of 2 school kids) say: “So kung kayang mag-save the whole year para pagdating ng enrollment mababayaran in full, go! Sayang din yung 1,000 discount per kid (for example).”
Tip #5: Look into other payment terms.
If the situation does not permit, and you are rather more realistic, go for the school’s payment terms: Semi-annually, Quarterly, or Monthly. It might cost you a few hundreds or thousands, but if you can devise a plan to pay in installment for the first term – and then pay in full the soonest you come up with the funds needed, it will be okay. It’s going to ease some worries on you and your pocket. There are schools that will just ask for an additional P300 or P500 if you don’t pay in full. So we think that’s good enough consolation for you if you can’t afford the full amount yet, as of the moment.
You can also pay the reservation fee prior to enrollment. This amount is normally deducted from the full tuition fee, anyway. Once you are assured that your child has a reserved slot in your preferred school, you can always opt for late enrollment. It buys you some more time to save up to pay for the full amount, without any additional charge (i.e. late fees).
Tip #6: Credit card companies offer low to zero interest funds
Some parents are good at managing debts and paying their monthly credit card bills. Hence, they are offered with low to 0% percent interest if they swipe the card to pay for tuition. Some credit card companies also offer actual cash – to be paid in installment terms, as well. If this has not been offered to you yet, check with your credit card company and work out a forgiving payment term. Contrary to popular belief, credit cards can work for people especially when you plan ahead for debt repayment.
Tip #7: Save on back to school supplies
Moms usually hear the phrase, shop early to get early bird discounts and avoid the crowd. While that still rings true, we’re happy to say that National Book Store offers both pre-Back-to-School shopping discounts, as well as last-minute deals!
And If you’re really smart about saving on school supplies, we encourage you moms to go for:
National Book Store invites you to do your back-to-school shopping online for exclusive discounts, *FREE shipping nationwide, Cash on Delivery option, and same store price items for all office and school supplies we have in our online store.
In the end, we think that in terms of saving up for tuition fees and school supplies: To each his own. We know some parents who take in extra work or projects months prior to enrollment. Some follow the envelope system to religiously set aside money for education. Others like greater protection and guarantee by buying educational plans as soon as their child opens his eyes to the world. In short, find out which works for you and your family. But you can be sure, National Book Store as the country’s #1 Back to School Expert, is here to guide you every step of the way!
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