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How I budget for School Supplies

We have almost reached towards the end of December and I am sure most of us are busy preparing the school supplies. I do see some parents blessing away their children used textbooks, which I applaud, some are still looking for out of stock books. My most dreaded part during this period is wrapping up the books in plastics. I used to enjoy it when I was just doing it for 1 child, but now with 3.. Errrr.. Safe to say my back will hurt and I cant even stand straight immediately after that session.

This year, I tried a different method from my previous years. I would normally wait till December and then join in the lines and crowd with trying to make the purchases needed. Which at times made difficult with the safe distancing measure in place.

Believe it or not, I got it done this year even before December came. HOW?

I started early. How early? I started in September. Here's the thing, with a single income household and 5 school going children, I can easily look at minimum $1200 for all their expenses. I missed FAS PCI by a really really small margin and I know trying to appeal is gonna waste me more time and make me frustrated thus I have to be smart about my spending. So I break my expenses through my monthly expenses. Squeezing a little bit at a time. So we do not really feel the pinch of purchasing all at one go.

During September holidays, I cast the Shopee or Lazada app onto my Tv, sat down with the kiddos and selected all their basic stationary and school bags needs. Of course, I am blessed with kiddos who are not brand oriented or bother about the namesake of the products we buy. So you have to check in on your children's expectations too when purchasing their needs. For a comprehensive list of what to buy, check out my previous post here -- >

Here are some examples of the stuff I've bought from Shopee that came superbly well.

Trustworthy Meh? Barang Bagus Ker? Good Meh? Quality ok? These are the most common questions I received whenever I said I settled it online. In fact, some of the products that I've ordered are almost similar to brands like Smiggle and Typo.

Here are some tips to shopping online:

  • Always look for most reviewed. More reviews and buyers, the better the chance.

  • With that said, read reviews proper. Those with pictures stating received well does not count. Look for pics with products in used or genuine description of the items.

  • Have a chat with the seller for dimensions or quality of product. Don't be shy to ask questions. You are the buyer here.

  • Be prepared for the worst so should the item fail your expectations, you can get back up and find again.

  • Learn to realistically expect shipping period. Do not purchase and expect for it to arrive within a week. If local seller than yes possible. Do not do this in mid or late December cause for sure your child will go to school with no stuff.

  • But so far, these have arrived good

While you are at it, make bulk purchases of stationaries. If I were to go to a renowned shop here in malls which I think you all will know, a pack of 6 erasers can easily cost about $2 to $3. I managed to source a pack of 50 erasers for $4. So go figure. My kids will never run out of erasers for the whole year. Bulk purchasing made cheap.

Then comes October. This is when I'll purchase all their school uniforms. I can easily waltz into the shop, have a chat session with the kind aunties selling the uniform. Kids can try on clothes with ease and no rush. Easy Breezy. Then how about sizing? Will they outgrow it fast? I have a habit of purchasing 1 size bigger and then cinch the waist a little. So normally by June, they would have grown into nicely and I can release the cinch.

So what's left? Books and shoes! November is when the kids will bring home their booklist and I will immediately make the purchases online. I would prefer to have them delivered it home cause I will not have the strength to lug 3 kids school books home. (Yes I am a super independent Mama who prefers to do things myself and not hassle my hardworking husband unnecessarily cause he works in a high stress environment daily.)

December comes and the only thing left to buy will be their school shoes and I am done and dusted. By then the books will also be wrapped and ready to go. I can spend the holidays with ease and no stress of joining queues or rushing to get their school supplies.

I hope these tips will help Mamas who are in the same stage as me right now. I know its not easy and end of year expenses always scares us the most. Plan early. Come January, I will slowly start saving up again with the support from my husband in order to make the following year purchases easy. If you've noticed I've bold the months so you can distinctly see the timeline best to follow.

I've been meaning to write more post this December holidays but it turns out I'm even more busier with them at home constantly needing attention. Do help me like and share the content if its beneficial to you. You can follow me or DM me on my Instagram @letsaskama. Would love to hear from you. Till then, Happy Shopping!! Lotsa Love,


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