Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with Liberty.

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It’s no secret how badly I want another baby. To add another little person to our family would make my heart happy and our lives complete. The only problem is that kids are expensive! As much as I would love another little boy to add to our already mischievous and boisterous 2, or a little girl to help balance out all the testosterone in the house, finances are one of our major considerations and why we (Mark mostly) are still holding back.

 According to the experts, the average costs of raising a child is estimated at about R1 000 000 before they even start Grade 1 – crazy to think that there’s 6 zeros for a 6-year-old! Matthew is in Grade R at the moment, I can’t even think how we could’ve spent almost R1 million since his birth.

This is my first year as a school mom (I suppose that’s what I can call myself now), so I had to find my way around the stationary list and school clothes. I admit, I left it for very late and only got the last of Matthew’s school things the day before school started. I shopped around, looked for the best savings for stationary and his school wear and ended up going to about 7 different shops just to save a few Rands. I’m still not sure it was worth it.

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The school we chose for Matthew is one in our area and the fees are very reasonable, like seriously budget friendly, yay to saving! Bonus – it’s the same primary school I attended all those many years ago, so I know he’ll be well looked after by the teachers.

We opened an education policy for Matthew when he was a few months old, however, looking at the figures provided, I think we need to relook at this policy (as well as Ethan’s) and figure something else out. I wish I’d known then about Liberty’s Educator Benefit programme – if we had insured with the life-agency, we could’ve adopted a policy that would cover expenses for primary school, high school, and the boys could even take their pick of Ivy League universities worldwide. They also have a Progressive Educator policy which even affords you monies to pay for textbooks and boarding, not just tuition. Guess who needs to contact Liberty as soon as possible?

It is estimated that 3 years of university education will currently cost R300 000 to R350 000 for tuition fees, required books, accommodation, and board exams and other expenses such as computers, cell phones, internet access. Those are current costs. Matthew still has 13 years to get through before he hits university, I don’t even want to think what varsity costs are going to be like then. Ethan will be following him 3 years later! And I want to add another baby to our family?!?! Am I crazy? Probably…

If you had to start creating a budget, you’ll note that, excluding inflation, your child costs you approximately R90 000 every year. That amount is only for essentials, it doesn’t include holidays, birthday parties, extramural activities not included in school fees, etc. Have you made provisions for your child’s/children’s education? More importantly, what happens if you’re no longer there to pay those bills?

You can check out Liberty’s Educator Benefit programme and the Progressive Educator policy as I mentioned earlier. This is just my thoughts, I’d like to know if you have anything to add, particularly around the costs of education and how you’ve gone about maximising your back to school budget year on year. Give this new school momma some tips please!

You can find out more about Liberty’s Educator Benefit on www.liberty.co.za, or you can ask your financial adviser as soon as you’re done reading this, they’ll be able to tell you more about it.

 

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