Budgeting for school trips


This is a collaborative post.

The return to school is just around the corner, which usually means a lot of ‘back to school’ preparations. From buying new uniform to ensuring your kids have all the supplies they need, getting your kids ready to go back to school can be an expensive time. With the cost of living increasing, many families are going to be making changes to their budget just to be able to afford the basics this year. 

School trips are another expense that can put strain on a family’s finances. While trips have a lot of benefits for your children, it can be difficult to say yes when there are other things to pay for. Budgeting for trips can make things more manageable, helping you save the money now for when it’s needed. 

Take a look at the following ideas to help you budget for school trips so you can say yes and help your child make the most of these opportunities.

Budgeting for school trips
Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

Speak to the school about potential trips

To help you budget for school trips, you need to know what you’re up against first. It’s a good idea to speak to the school at the start of term about any potential trips coming up throughout the year. They might not have made a firm plan yet, but they should have an idea based on previous years. Some school trips happen every year, while others, like a longer trip, may take place every two years. 

Knowing in advance can help you plan and give you an idea of when you’re going to need to make some payments.

Work out a rough cost

Next you’ll want to work out a rough cost for trips. Some trips are more affordable than others, such as day trips or trips to locations that are close by. You can work out a rough cost based on previous trips, or by looking at school trip provider websites. Educational trips to France are a popular type of trip, and you can find plenty of information about them online. Remember that school trips typically cost less than they would if you booked things yourself, with many trips often subsidised by the school to make them more affordable for parents.

Try some cost-cutting ideas to save money

With an idea of how much the trips are going to cost, you can make a plan to save money. Putting money aside each month can help break things up, but if things are tight, you may need to make some cuts to help you make the savings. 

Some of the things you could do to save include:

  • Cut down on how much you use your car to help save on fuel costs.
  • Switch to packed lunches.
  • Cut down on some of your subscriptions like on-demand TV or a gym membership.
  • Challenge yourself to make some cheaper family meals, and get the kids involved in cooking too.
  • Use cashback sites online to help you save while you shop.

Explore any support that’s available

If you’re concerned about the cost of school trips and how you’re going to afford them, you can also take a look at what support is available to families. Some local authorities can provide assistance, while the schools themselves may be able to support you if you’re on a low income. You may also be able to find support with other costs that will free up your budget to cover school trip costs.

Planning for school trips can put pressure on parents, but finding ways to budget in advance can help with some of the costs. If, however, trips aren’t possible at this time, have an honest conversation with your child to help them understand. Many families will be feeling the pinch this year, and it’s important to remember that trips are not a necessity. Even if things aren’t possible this year, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some opportunities in the future that your child can take advantage of instead.


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