Consumer Action Law Centre’s financial counselling service MoneyHelp is preparing for calls from parents struggling to cope with back to schools costs. With many families still dealing with the financial challenge of Christmas, the cost of school uniforms, stationery and books comes at a difficult time.
Consumer Action wants parents to know that there is help available. Low income earners may be eligible for Government assistance with school costs, while many schools do a great job of assisting financial struggling members of their community.
Uniforms, stationery and books are the obvious upfront costs, but then there is the thought of excursion costs throughout the year – no one wants their child to miss out, so when you’re in financial hardship these small things can lead to a lot of anxiety.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, speak to your school and ask about the Educational Maintenance Allowance, or speak to a financial counsellor about meeting school costs. And eligible families should keep an eye on their bank account for the Schoolkids Bonus which will be paid to them automatically in January.
If you’re struggling to meet school expenses you can speak to a financial counsellor about back to school costs, as well as any other bills you’re struggling to pay. It’s a free and confidential service, that can also help with setting up payment plans, requesting a moratorium from mortgage payments or coping with your credit card bill. Free and independent financial counsellors are available by calling 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia. Speaking to one may be the first step to getting your finances back on track.
More hints on dealing with school expenses are available at: http://www.moneyhelp.org.au/managing-bills-debt/school-expenses/.