Ministry issues tips for back-to-school shopping season

Wednesday, September 6 2017

The Peninsula -- The Ministry of Economy and Commerce offered tips to families with the start of the back-to-school shopping season.

The ministry noted that pre-planning and saving are the most crucial shopping skills that help families avoid extra financial burdens, particularly as this year's season comes after Ramadan and Eid, which also see increased spending by families.

The advice offered by the ministry aim to help family members buy smart by planning appropriately to avoid spending unnecessary funds.

The ministry stressed that investing in education guarantees a bright future. It said that the first step parents must do is to choose the appropriate educational institution for their children and save the school fees in advance.

One way to do that, according to the ministry, is by establishing a school fund at the beginning of the year. The fund sees all members of the family save a portion of their income for the school fees.

The Ministry noted that a family's spending on education can be divided into two types. The first is fixed fees that should be paid at a particular time each year. An example of that would be school tuition. The other types are variable costs that are paid throughout the year. An example of that would be the cost of buying stationery. The ministry advised that families plan how much would they spend annually on each category.

Studies conducted by the ministry showed that families in the Arab world spend 25 percent of their monthly income on school-related expenses, compared to the international average of 8 percent.

The ministry said that there were a number of steps families can take to bring down their spending on school expenses. One of them is to find the shops that would sell their school-needs for the lowest price, preferably at wholesale prices. Another important tip was to shop ahead of the season, in order to avoid any potential increase in prices.

Preparing a list for the school needs in advance can go a long way in helping families save time and money. The ministry also advised families to choose products that their children want, and that fits their interests.