Our site is currently being updated. We’ll be back online soon. Existing ZAAP cardholders can still log into their ZAAP accounts.



In a blink of an eye, the summer holidays will soon be over and the kids back at school! While we can’t wait to cheer them all the way to the school gate, now is a good time to get your kids school ready and start budgeting for the essentials.

With primary school aged twin boys of my own, upcoming school expenses can be an additional financial burden. Some costs like school fees and new uniforms are straightforward. Others however, can creep up on us, digging into our household budget.

Here’s some tips on how to cut corners (and costs) with back to school items. You might find yourself a saving or two.


Buy the bigger sizes

Like many other kids, my boys are growing at lightning pace and their bodies are constantly changing. With uniforms and school shoes being big back to school ticket items, I always buy the biggest size I can get away with.

Last year, I managed to buy school shirts that are 2 sizes bigger. This school year, I can still get away with the boys wearing the same shirts. Sure, they might need extra strength stain removal when washed but as long as they’re still wearable!


Go second hand whenever you can

It’s common for schools to send a list of the textbooks that your child will need for the upcoming school year. Try shopping online for second hand textbooks and search for a bargain.

Some uniform shops will also have next to new school bags or hats available to be sold as second hand items. Always worth asking what they have in stock.


Label it, don’t lose it

I can’t tell you how many times the kids have come home and school hats have mysteriously disappeared! Not to mention school jumpers and water bottles. Replacing all these items - I have discovered in horror - all add up.

Some parents like to order fancy personalised labels that can be stick on for hard surfaces or as iron on transfers for clothing. I keep it simple. I grab a thick black permanent pen and scrawl my kids’ names wherever I can. Done. No more desperate scrambling searches through Lost Property.


Shop with a list

The start of school season is always overwhelming. For both kids and parents. Before the craziness begins, make yourself a cuppa and sit down to do a quick audit. Have a think about what you need to buy immediately.

Can your daughter get a few more wears out of the summer uniform? Does your son’s school bag need replacing, or can you somehow fix the straps?

Writing out a back-to-school shopping list will help you stop from feeling overwhelmed. Most importantly, it can keep you on track with a budget. You can prioritise what is urgently needed right from the very first day of school or what items can wait until following weeks.


ZAAP: Making Pocket Money Cashless and Educational

As a budget conscious parent, I can control most back to school costs. When it comes to giving the kids their pocket money, I want to avoid feeling like a human ATM.

ZAAP pocket money card and leading edge app, can help you distinguish school expenses from pocket money, while making sure your school kids always have funds for any emergencies. Your ZAAP parent account will let you track and monitor your children’s savings and spending. 

Parents can conveniently transfer funds into their child’s ZAAP account at any time or on a scheduled ‘set and forget’ basis. Your kids can’t spend more than what is loaded onto the card as you set the limit.

Giving kids daily access to ZAAP enables them to build on their financial literacy skills. Seeing how their savings grow and how they spend it gives them extra out of classroom lessons in Maths, Economics and Commerce. ZAAP can teach your child financial independence and responsible money management. Important traits school can’t teach them.

With over 37 million establishments and online sites where Mastercard can be used, ZAAP also has Tap and Pay functionality.

Let your child choose from 50 card designs or customise it with their favourite photo. Is your kid forgetful? Using a wearable band will guarantee contactless payment every time.

With the ZAAP app, your parent account lets you easily manage all of your children’s accounts. No more random handouts or stressful situations of trying to get home with no cash.

Click HERE to sign up for ZAAP and take away the worries and stress of going back to school.


About the Author:

Grace is a freelance writer with over 25 years experience in business, having held senior
roles in marketing, finance through to sales.

Graduating from the Australian National University, Grace spent 10 years working with
multi-nationals in Asia. She is multi-lingual, fluent in Japanese and Bahasa

On returning to Australia, she then carved out a successful career in financial services, IT
and telecommunications.

In addition, Grace has run her own small business focused on issues such as parenting, financial
literacy and digital security.