Back to school costs are no longer just about uniforms and stationery.
Over the last decade the emphasis on the technology used for education has meant kids require more access to laptops and mobile devices as part of their every day learning. This has meant a huge increase in schooling costs and puts even more pressure on parents finding it hard to cope with cost of living pressures.
Computers and mobile devices are now by far the most significant part of schooling costs for many families and finding the money at this time of the year can send people spiralling into more debt. Many will still have outstanding bills from Christmas.
How can you pay for your kids essential learning needs without sinking further into debt or needing to think about other forms of loans that may cost you a lot more?
Have you heard of NILS? The No Interest Loans Scheme run by Good Finance loans has helped many families to purchase white goods and household items such as fridges and washing machines without paying any interest or charges. No interest, no charges at all! Now the Good Finance NILS is available to help with your back to school needs including computer and text books.
Low Income earners and people in hardship can access this help.
No interest loans are the best and cheapest way for people on low incomes to cover household expenses and necessities, you only repay what you borrow, so you don’t get caught in a cycle of borrowing and debt.
To apply for a no interest loan, visit nils.com.au to find your nearest provider or check out more about NILS and other assistance available in South Australia see the Affordable SA App (download free on Apple and Google play) and website www.affordablesa.com.au or ring the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 539.
In Australia, 15 out of every 100 women and 7 out of every 100 men experience financial abuse.
Financial abuse often occurs alongside other forms of domestic violence, such as physical, sexual and psychological abuse. It is reported that up to 9 out of 10 women who access domestic violence services have experienced financial abuse.
Who can be a perpetrator of financial abuse?
- Partners, husbands, wives, girlfriends or boyfriends (including exes)
- Carers or paid support workers
- Parents, guardians or other family members
- Adult children
- Other people you live with or see often
What are some of the signs of financial abuse?
- Has someone stopped, or attempted to stop you from accessing your bank account?
- Has someone stopped, or attempted to stop you from working or studying?
- Has someone refused to contribute financially to the household, or does contribute but not enough to cover basic household living expenses?
- Has someone pressured you to sign up for loans, credit cards, consumer leases, pay day loans or utility accounts in your name?
- Has someone damaged, stole or sold your property without your permission?
- Has someone stopped, or attempted to stop you from using social media, your mobile phone, internet or the family car?
- Has someone made you feel like you cannot manage money on your own?
If you, or someone you know, answered yes to any of the above questions it is important to speak to someone about the situation.
Who do I contact?
- 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) – 24 Hour counselling and support service for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.
- National Debt Helpline – 1800 007 007 – Free, confidential and independent service provided by Financial Counsellors who can guide you through your options to help you plan your way out of debt
For more information about financial abuse, see the attached video from 1800 Respect
For more information about domestic violence, see the attached link to the Domestic Violence section of the Affordable SA App
And just like that the school holidays are over.
If you have children, the back to school frenzy is probably the next big financial thing in your life.
Whether a child is starting Reception or Year 12, the cost of education can have an extremely large impact on household finances.
Uniforms, bags, textbooks, stationery, school fees, camps, excursions, school photos, swimming carnivals, laptops, lunches…the list goes on.
Here on the Helpline, particularly this time of year, we hear many stories of families who are trying to juggle everyday living expenses in an attempt to buy laptops, school jumpers, school shoes or any other extra cost that may surface for the new school year.
For more information about how to reduce back to school costs, see the attached link to the Moneysmart website.
The Affordable SA App also has a dedicated section for Education. See the following link for more information https://www.affordablesa.com.au/programs/education
I often find that it’s around this time of the year when the shiny excitement of Christmas has well and truly worn off.
We all went through that strange period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when we didn’t know what day it was. Easter buns then made a sudden and controversial appearance in supermarkets just days into the new year with Easter eggs following closely behind, in abundance. You may have already spent all the money on the gift card you received from your aunt as department stores push back-to-school items to the front of the aisles where the Christmas decorations once sparkled.
Christmas 2019 has now well and truly been left behind with credit card payments already eating into your 2020 earnings.
There are 8,760 hours in a year and Christmas Day makes up 24 yet planning for those brief hours of indulgence can take weeks of effort and sometime months of repayments. Here on the Helpline, we see the repercussions that the cost of Christmas can have on people’s financial situations. If not budgeted for, the ripple effect of Christmas can lead to electricity disconnections, defaults on credit reports, etc.
If the 2019 festive season caused you financial stress, consider starting to plan now…Christmas is only 336 days away!
We sat down with our Financial Counsellors and Financial Capability Workers here on the Helpline to discuss ways to plan for Christmas 2020.
‘One way to approach Christmas 2020 is to look at what you roughly spent in 2019 and divide that into fortnightly amounts (or however you get paid) and put that amount away each fortnight into a separate bank account or Christmas Club’.
‘Work out early on who is going to host Christmas lunch because if it is your turn, you may have to put extra money aside’.
‘If you are casually employed, find out early if your employer is closing over the Christmas break and for how long so you can start putting money aside now to cover essential living expenses while you are not working’.
‘Consider alternative options before signing up for a Christmas Hamper’ -https://www.affordablesa.com.au/news-articles/dont-let-a-christmas-hamper-put-a-damper-on-your-finances
For more tips on how to plan for Christmas 2020, see the attached link from the Moneysmart website, '12 Money Tips for Christmas’.
Christmas should be a time of enjoying family and friends without stressing about making basic ends meet. If you're counting the costs not the calories with each bite of the Christmas pudding, then you're setting yourself up for the Post-Christmas Blues and destined to lose any of the magic that Christmas brings.
If you've started 2020 and you are struggling with the financial repercussions of Christmas, call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to speak to a free Financial Counsellor about your options or search for The National Debt Helpline on the Affordable SA App.