Sydney parents to pay double private school fees: How to cut your costs

Nick Drewe, money-saving expert at WeThrift

Sending a child to a private school in Sydney from this year will cost parents on average $460,000, more than double the cost that parents in Perth will have to pay.

In addition, in Melbourne, it is estimated parents will fork out $400,000 over 13 years for children starting school this year, according to new reports by Futurity Investment Group.

Education is extremely important, and parents make sacrifices to support their future.

Nick Drewe, money-saving expert at WeThrift, shares his top tips on how you can cut your everyday costs. From energy bills, travel and grocery shopping, he shares his top tips below.

Keep checking your bills regularly

Whilst some energy suppliers have been known to either make changes to tariffs or make mistakes when charging customers, it’s a good idea to check your regular household bills.

With winter approaching, those who work from home or have flexible conditions may opt to stay at home, therefore bills for water, energy and mobile data are likely to increase.

Reduce activities and classes

Whilst it is important for a child to have a routine, there seems to be a mild pressure around keeping children busy in activities from a young age.

If you can’t quite afford every single activity, why not keep it simple and cost-free and encourage time to play in the backyard, playgrounds and explore the local creek.

Children enjoy picnics, playdates and time at the beach and will help reduce time spent in the car and spending money on petrol, entry fees, registration, tuition fees, uniforms.

Have a cap on present spending

Once your child starts school, they will begin to get more invitations to birthday parties. While this is lovely, this also gets expensive. Decide on a limit for presents early on and stick to it, unless it is a close friend where you may want to spend more.

Simple gift ideas that can work for both genders could be a pencil case filled with nice new stationery, a piece of sports equipment or a water pistol. Start collecting generics throughout the year and put them in gift collection. You never know, they may come in handy.

Choose inexpensive holidays

Once you have children, it is not as easy to travel interstate and overseas. Camping with young children is fairly inexpensive to do once you are set up with some gear.

Children love to ride their bikes around, meet other kids and roam the extra space and it is a great way for families to interact without spending too much money.

Share school trips with other parents

The cost of petrol add up when taking the kids to school every day, and being able to do alternative trips with other parents nearby will definitely help cut your costs.

If you can arrange to do alternative days or even alternate between the morning and afternoon drop off, this will cut your journeys in half.

Look for discounts codes before ordering takeaways

If you’re treating the family to a well-deserved takeaway at the weekend, before clicking ‘checkout’ on sites like Deliveroo or Menulog, it’s always worth a search on voucher sites for any discount codes or free delivery incentives that could knock your basket price down.

Always check your emails for any promotional vouchers that may have been sent following your last order. Often delivery couriers will offer customers small incentives ahead of their next purchase to retain their loyalty and avoid them being tempted to order elsewhere

Deliveroo customers have the option to ‘Refer a friend, which secures $10 off the next order.

Time your grocery trips wisely

Try to time your grocery trips for when your local stores are likely to have just added yellow ‘reduced’ stickers to stock that needs to be sold that day.

Making the most of these discounted deals will help you to fill your freezer up with discounted meat, fish, and freezer meals for cheaper food options in the coming days and weeks.

Normally workers will start discounting products that are about to pass their sell-by-date later on in the early evening, so a food shop after work is the perfect time to grab a bargain.

Many supermarkets also have clearance sections where products that cannot be sold at their RRP or may have damaged packaging can be found. Just make sure to check you are happy with the item and that the goods aren’t compromised before heading to the checkout.

Cancel any unnecessary direct debits

Now is the perfect time to log on to your online banking and scour your direct debits and standing orders to see if you can cancel anything that’s become an unnecessary spend.

Whether it be a gym membership you aren’t quite getting your money’s worth for, or a streaming service you signed up for during lockdown that you no longer make the most of, cutting these small outgoings will make a difference to your bank balance in the long run.

Additionally, make sure that all of your monthly direct debits look correct, and if there is any questionable outgoing transactions from your account to immediately attend to them.