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How to Save Over $850 on Back-to-School Expenses

The back-to-school period is always a significantly exorbitant time of the year for any parents. With the ongoing tough economic state, the majority of parents are trying to find ways on how they can reduce expenses on school costs. Being economical while educating your kids is all about being aware of your privileges and being knowledgeable about the costs that come your way. I have pointed out in the video below, which was taken during my interview on Channel Nine’s MORNINGS program recently, a few of the yearly back-to-school expenses together with a few ideas on how you could save money.

Back-to-school costs can get a little bit out of control. Here are some tips that could save you $850 or even more.

  1. Laptops & Tablets
  • Consider second hand – Gumtree, EBay and Cash Converters
  • Check warranties to make sure that it doesn’t end up costing you more in the long run if something goes wrong
  • Ask relatives if they have any lying around that you can borrow
  • You don’t need all the bells and whistles – something with internet connectivity is all you need
  • Check your data plans so you don’t get an unexpected bill in a months’ time
  • With any child’s computer make sure you have ‘nanny’ settings activated.

I made a costly mistake. I bought a $500 notebook and found the identical notebook was on sale for $125 at a second hand store!

Estimated Savings: $300 minimum

  1. After School Activities
  • Do your numbers and make sure you can afford it. It’s very easy to sign up for everything and then get stuck in a couple of months’ time.
  • Basic sports gear can be purchased from Target, Kmart
  • Check Ebay for affordable ballet shoes, football shoes etc…
  • Borrow from family and friends while your child ‘tries’ the activity out for a month or so
  • Check the activity centre for second hand uniforms from the previous year
  • Check your private health cover and see if there are any discounts available with their affiliated partners
  • If money is tight with credit card hangovers from Christmas, utility bills arriving – consider holding off with after school activities for a term while your regroup

Estimated Savings: $200 minimum 

  1. Stationery
  • Do an inventory of what you already have. Check for calculators, rulers, rubbers, red pens that you have left over from last year. Do you need another ruler? No you probably have 12 of those.
  • I call it Bright Shiny Object Syndrome- There is a lot of excitement looking at all the new things but ask: Is this something you need? Have you already got it? If so, stay away!
  • Protect what you have purchased so it lasts. Buy protective gear for electronic goods, wash out school bags once every couple of weeks, contact text books, book slips for books (spencil)

Estimated savings $50 minimum.

  1. School Lunches
  • Don’t be lazy. Being organised will save you a lot of money.
  • It can be too easy giving them $10 for lunch, but that adds up very quickly!
  • Single serve items like juice boxes, yoghurts, popcorn, chips etc. … More economical to buy: $20 popcorn machine and packet of corn kernels for $1.65. 1 cup of kernels is 5-7 serves.  $4.07 for 10 200g packets. $1.30 for 375g of UNPOPPED kernels which would make approximately 20 serves.
  • 1 litre tub of yogurt, spooned out into your own containers (or pouches). Tub of 1kg yoghurt $3.60. Get about 10 pouches from 1 tub = .36 cents a pouch. Individual pouches $ 2.29 per 100g
  • Sultanas – 1.15kg bag $8.16, sultana 6 pack – $3.20 – works out to $13.33kg
  • When you want an after school snack, don’t go to the bakery. For 3 kids that could cost up to $15 – stuff from home – under $5

Estimated savings $300 minimum

Did you see the show? What did you think? Please let me know in the comments below or drop by my facebook page and say hello.


3 things you MUST do after pasting pretty pictures on a vision board

17455183_1785f1acab_bI’ve been reflecting on the past 12 months and you know what?

Everything that happened, happened because of my intention (good or bad!).

I was reminded about the book The Secret which I read many years ago and Rhondas’ story about how she wanted to make the film and she just set about packing her bags and getting a passport.

Well…there is something that I want right now and have been clear about wanting it since September and it hasn’t shown up yet. I feel like I’m running out of time (in relation to booking kids into schools) and have to keep coming back to faith and trust (at the moment I’m doing that 3-5 times a day).

Here’s the dream… we want to move to the beach. Four months ago, I created a vision board with pictures and words of what we desired in a home, schools, lifestyle and even wrote the feeling words that we wanted. I created alerts from real estates which I’ve been receiving daily up until this last week, it’s gone very quiet. Which of course as highlighted a negative ‘what if’ feeling for me.

I’ve turned that into a positive ‘what if’ feeling.

When you have dream, you set goals and some action is required (right Julie Cross?!). So I got crystal clear about the 3 ‘must haves’ in relation to the dream. The universe has seen the pictures in my thoughts, feelings and vision board and I trust that will be taken care of – I need to get specific about location, pool and number of rooms and a 4th one. A date. As I did that 2 days ago, this urge to start packing up took over. We knew we had stuff to do here to prepare this house, we knew we had to clean out the shed but neither Jonathon (hubby) or I were actually starting. So yesterday in what felt like 100 degrees we started and I mean – boy did we start something! I felt so overwhelmed about what was in front of us to do before we even thought about packing moving boxes and organising a removalist. I am SO grateful that a house has not been available for us on the coast yet – because we were not ready. However, now I have the date down and action has stared, I know that this is all unfolding perfectly.

The house that we desire will turn up and we will be ready and everything will flow with ease.

So three things I do after the dream:

  1. Create a goal, be specific. How long, details about what it feels like to have that dream
  2. Take action. Create an action list and then TAKE the action. Discipline, consistency and persistence
  3. Trust. Have faith and trust that everything will unfold perfectly. I meditate and exercise daily to keep my head and spirit in this space

Have you ever experienced something similar?

PS – I actually discussed going with the flow during one of my podcasts a couple of weeks ago with my good friend Carren Smith. Some helpful tips there for you to have a listen to!

Photo Credit: Uncle Ariel



EE 09: How to Handle Tough Times

When your ‘tough time’ is not a tough time for you and it’s just change; how do you handle it when others see it differently? How do you remain in the your space without being sucked into their drama and their story about what you are going through?

Michelle shares a bit about what is going on in her life right now and how she is handling it completely differently – her behaviour has changed. And when her behaviour changes everything and everyone around her changes.

Is it about acceptance? And how do you know when you have accepted something? Is it peace or trust or knowing?

And down the rabbit hole we go!!


EE 08: Innovation & Creation

Where did we go with this one?! I think it was our entrepreneurial minds jumping in with amazing thoughts and ideas – stick with it though! Sooooo many gold nuggets in this conversation!!

What part does your mindset play in innovation and creation? What is the difference between them?

Is an entrepreneur and innovator and a creator? Then who is the implementer?

Age old question – is that the difference between and entrepreneur and a business owner?

And then another question to explore… Is entrepreneurship hereditary?

Interesting stories about Michelle’s entrepreneurial grandmothers and Carren’s family history and how it could be possible there is an entrepreneurial gene.

What do you think? Do you think entrepreneurship is hereditary?

We would love to hear your thoughts and stories about people in your family. Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page

PS – Here is the link to the app (with a article) that Michelle mentions – the one about rounding up your spending and investing it.


EE 07: The Meaning of Money

What is money? What does it mean? What are your feelings about it?

Would it be easy for you to spend $30 million? or would you struggle with that?

In this episode we chat about the feeling of money and our beliefs around money and we discuss how what drives or makes you successful is also the thing that holds you back.

In business we desire a certain level of income and once that is attained (in our experience) fear and anxiety kicks in around how to maintain it.

How do you get to that place where you can trust that financially you will be ok? How do you trust and take your hands off the wheel?

Have a listen and let us know how it works for you in your world.