At only two weeks I had already enrolled my newborn baby to moms and baby classes, I mean she could barely keep her eyes open and I was so scared to even play with her at that tender age but I used to feel a huge sense accomplishment after every session, that she smiled back, she turned her head and moved her toes… Did I need those classes? Probably not, but that’s the nature of motherhood, we all want the best for our children and sometime we want it so much that logic goes out the window FACT lol… the emotional attachment, lack of knowledge and sometimes our own insecurities do lead us to extreme measures in raising what we hope to be healthy, thriving and successful individuals.
While this fact exists it’s only fitting to acknowledge that from birth throughout varsity extra mural activities will one way or the other pinch your pocket beyond expectation as a parent, thanks to Liberty Group though, this year we shift gears to face the facts and wise up about the hidden costs around extra mural activities.
Three eye-opening additional costs that you probably haven’t thought about:
1. Extra-mural activities – Added costs and time constraints
- Sports Kits – Have you seen the price of soccer boots and ballerina shoes lately
- Transport – Fuel prices are just out to get us really… transporting the kids to and from classes and sometimes multiple activities in different areas…crazy fun huh! Some moms have to pay monthly transport rates for the school bus which charges more for after hours.
- Medical costs – As a result of injury during sports, no parent’s thinks of budgeting for such because we hope that nothing happens right?
- Unpaid leave – have you considered the cost of taking time off work to support your child at their various sporting events? Do you have enough leave available or will you need to take UNPAID leave?
2. Charitable giving may catch you off guard – We all know that schools require additional support to maintain or grow its existing infrastructure but I personally never budget for this.
- Donation Raffles – do you collect cash from friends and family, I know most families would rather pay off the whole form but who budgets for this?
- Feeding schemes – This usually comes off from your groceries Mama do you ever buy extra just-in-case?
- All time favourites – Easter bonnet, costume day, baker-baker, eats sale, photo shoots etc Always fun to plan but never budgeted for lol…
3. Extra Educational Support
- Extra Classes – Nobody expects to hear the news that their child has a learning incapacity or that they need extra mathematics or science classes. Unfortunately, many parents hear this unexpected news every year but no parent budgets for such until the last minute when they receive the news.
- Special Classes – Yes there is a difference, special classes are more expensive as they cover specific development needs and require much more attention than extra classes.
WISE UP MAMA
I’m actually embarrassed as a mom because I do plan and budget for my ESCAPES but I never budget for these additional costs because as parents we always make a plan but it’s actually shocking how significant they can be when summed up to at least 2 months outside the normal family budget.
Education is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give to a child. However, costs are rising each year and families are struggling to keep up with their financial responsibilities.
According to data from Statistics South Africa, South African households spend approximately R2, 531 a year on education which accounts for just 2.45% of the total household expenditure.
Acknowledging the need to save for education can help parents greatly in the long run. Your first point of call should be speaking with a financial adviser about education policies, and savings and investment instruments. With his or her guidance, parents can develop savings habits to help ease the burden associated with paying for extremely high school fees.
I am so grateful for my relationship with my Liberty Financial Adviser, because of schedule clashes this meeting had to be done over the phone and I am excited to share with you the:
5 KEY SOLUTIONS TO HELP PARENTS START SAVING FOR THEIR KIDS EDUCATION.
1. Starting saving early
The earlier you start saving the smaller the impact is on your budget. A savings policy of R275 per month from birth could cover the total cost of high school education. While delaying starting to save until the child starts grade 1, means that you have to put aside almost 2 and a half times as much every month.
2. It’s not too late to start
If you have not started an education savings plan yet, it is not too late. You just need to understand what your saving and funding goals are.
For most people, trying to save the full lump sum for a child’s education is not always possible. Aim to keep your education costs at a fixed percentage of your monthly budget by funding increases in education costs through your savings.
3. Paying for fee increases
It is likely that the increase in school fees will be more than your salary increase each year. Education costs have risen by between 9% and 10% each year. Salary increases have not matched this figure. Your first goal is to save so that you can make up this difference without education taking a bigger bite out of your household finances.
4. Funding the grade gap
Your second goal is to fill the gap between high school and primary school fees, as you will be paying around 20% more once your child starts high school. In fact, even primary school fees often increase with each grade, over and above the normal annual inflationary fee increases. A Grade One’s school fees tend to be lower than a Grade Five’s.
As soon as your child starts Grade One, immediately increase your savings by the difference between primary and high school fees. You will then be setting aside a realistic percentage of your salary for your child’s 12 years of education and the savings will supplement the annual fee increases in high school.
5. Protecting the future
When taking out an education plan for your child, consider including an insurance policy such as Liberty’s Educator benefit. This is an optional benefit on Liberty’s Education Builder policy that will pay for your child’s tuition if you cannot because of death or disability, and will not affect the return on the product.
The comprehensive benefit will cover tuition fees until their Matric year and their first year of university, in addition to an allowance for other expenses associated with education, such as uniforms, stationery and textbooks.
“Ultimately, parents want to give their children the best possible chance at a good life, one filled with opportunity and choices; a good education can help your children move one step closer to this. Planning and preparing for this outcome is your responsibility. Reaching for the stars is their” – Liberty Financial Adviser