Money Management Tips for Parents |

According to a report by the Department of Education, more than 27.7 million students[1] are enrolled in private and public schools this year. The number has significantly increased as compared to last year’s 22.9 million, which also comprised of Kindergarten to Grade 12 students.

If you are one of these students’ parents, it’s important to keep your finances straight to secure your child’s future. Apart from building tuition, fund for your kid, also consider your child’s allowance, miscellaneous, and other school-related expenses when setting a budget for education.

To have a better understanding of this, we interviewed three moms and asked them for money management tips this school season. See it below.

Money Management Tips from 3 Moms

Money Management Tips |
One of our Moms, Sales Manager Gina Reyes. Instagram photo c/o

Gina Reyes is a working mom with a son in nursery and a daughter in the third grade. She regards herself as almost-always ready for just about anything life– and her son–can throw at her.

Kringle Lim-Dansal is a mom to a daughter in junior kinder–her third year of school after attending toddler and nursery. She describes herself as a full-time, full-on mom, and is a full-time law student.

Seogar Dapii-Lian is a mom to a 7-year-old second grader. She helps manage businesses remotely, but is a nurse by profession. She regards herself as a happily married, happily hands-on mom.

Do you think schooling is more expensive now that the K-12 program is in place?

Money Management Tips |
Gina: It is more expensive and the government admitted that they aren’t as ready for the K-12 transition–they don’t have much teachers to handle grades 11 to 12. The quality of education, however, is getting better. I believe that it will be worth it as long as the government can give equal opportunities to every kid after school.

Kringle: Not necessarily. The K-12 program is aimed to integrate some general subjects taken in college into the senior high school program, so fewer college units may also mean lower expenses, not considering the annual inflation. Also, as parents of younger children, we may not be as affected as parents of older children who may have expected their kids to finish the old curriculum. Because our daughter started school as part of the K-12 program, we expect to accommodate the expenses incurred for it.

Seogar: They say that the burden of expenses for the additional two years (Senior High School) need not be completely shouldered by parents. However, I don’t think that’s still the case if you prefer your child to go to a private school instead of a public school. Additional school years still mean additional expenses. If you compare the materials that are being used now for this said education (books, manuals, learning magazines, etc.) it is more expensive than it used to be.

What’s your go to solution for school supplies, and how much are your ceiling prices?

Money Management Tips |
Gina: I buy school supplies during December as it’s so much cheaper because of holiday mall sales. The same thing applies when you buy anything out of season. I budget depending on my kids’ needs, which is roughly PHP 2,000 each because I don’t buy school bags every year. I invest in a quality item, which can last them for years.

Kringle: My daughter’s school provides a list of necessary branded materials so kids have uniform supplies. When purchasing, I shop at Office Warehouse because of their low prices. For school bags, lunch boxes, shoes, and other needs, I order through Amazon or go to factory outlets[2]. I also wait for sales. My ceiling budget is PHP 5,000.

Seogar: I don’t buy school supplies from department stores unless I can’t find an item anywhere else. Most of the time, I shop in small stores, or the tiangge. You can usually buy in bulk and get very good discounts. As long as the products are in good quality and I’m getting more value for money, spending isn’t a big problem.

How do you handle the extra fees for school events?

Gina: I have a fund that I save up every payday for school events like field trips, projects, and intramurals. This is a standard as I have to prepare and support them in their studies.

Kringle: Schools usually have calendar activities like Buwan ng Wika, Nutrition Month, Halloween, and Christmas parties. It pays to buy or prepare in advance since Halloween costumes get expensive as the holiday approaches. When costumes are needed, I DIY or be creative instead of buying from malls.

Seogar: My husband and I are employees and we have a small businesses running. Extra fees for school events aren’t much of a problem as long as we get to organize our expenses.

Related Article: 

What’s a typical breakdown of allowances for your kids?

Money Management Tips |
Gina: I don’t give money to my kids since they have a lunch box with their food in it. Each lunch box has two snacks and a full meal, prepared early in the morning by my husband. An elementary student shouldn’t have money on hand because they buy stuff outside of school, which we can’t guarantee in terms of quality and safety.

Kringle: My child is too young to bring money to school, so I usually pack her lunch which consists of pasta, or a rice meal, and a serving of fruit, juice, and water.

Seogar: About PHP 100 a day, but my son usually brings his own baon to school. He packs food for recess, which includes breakfast since he doesn’t eat as much in the morning. The money I give him is for lunch and snacks.

Read more: 10 Educational Plans in the Philippines Every Parent Should Consider

What’s the best piece of advice on saving for school expenses that you can think of?

Gina: As a working mom, my best tip is to plan ahead.

  1. Know your limits when it comes to buying stuff for kids so you can still save up.
  2. School uniforms, if taken care of properly, can still be used the following school year.
  3. Invest in higher-priced school bags and shoes so you don’t have to buy yearly.
  4. Have a meal plan for your kids, so you can make sure that what they are eating is safe. You can save up instead of having them buy food in school.

Kringle: As a law student, I think the most helpful saving tip is letting your child bring his own meal. It may be convenient to just buy cafeteria food, but this can be costly. Preparing home-cooked meals not only puts a penny or two in your pocket, but it also translates your love and care for your children.

Seogar: Buying supplies in bulk will cost you less when you buy them in tiangges. I always remind my son to take care of his belongings to maintain their condition. He can still use them in the next school year or resell his pre-loved items.

Final Thoughts

Prepare for your child’s education. Determine your kid’s tuition, supplies, and other expenses in advance so you can save up early on. Also, take note of the aforementioned money management tips to help you along the way.
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