How to manage school fees when under financial constraint

Being unable to pay school fees is one of the toughest challenges as a parent. The high cost of living is leaving many households cash-strapped. Because of this, some parents need to catch up on their child’s school fees payment. 

This article shares tips on how parents can manage their school fees effectively, even under financial constraints. 


Budgeting is one of the most important ways to stay financially afloat. Using a budget helps you better manage your money to afford the essentials, such as food, school fees, a roof over your head and other necessities. 

SPARK Schools Financial Manager, Natasha Vellieux, says parents can use a budget to account for their income and expenses. 

READ More: Five ways parents can help their children do well at School

“Split those into must-haves and nice-to-haves. Budgeting apps are great to help track your spending.  Without financial strain, the rule of budgeting is 50/30/20.  50% needs, 30% wants, and 20% savings,” Vellieux says. 

Villieux adds that budgeting and looking at your expenses provides you with long-term value and cutting out those expenses that bring the least value, e.g. home cooking vs eating out regularly. 

Pay your fees timeously

Pay your school fees on time, as this avoids interest and constantly having to catch up on fees. If it makes your life easier, have a debit order for school fees or automate the payment so you don’t have to think about it. Pay your fees in advance, either at the end of the year or at the beginning of the school year, if you have the means. 

Paying your fees in advance also has excellent advantages, such as discounts on your fees. Find out from your child’s school what discounts they can offer you if you pay ahead of time. 

If you owe fees, ask for a payment plan 

Don’t wait until you owe your child’s school too much money for school fees. Contact your child’s school and find out if you can have a payment plan. A payment plan assists parents

to catch up on what they owe while ensuring you can continue paying your child’s school fees. 

“Most private schools are open to assisting parents with a payment plan that both parties are comfortable with,” says Valleiux. 

Check your statement and invoices regularly

Regularly check your statements and invoices to ensure the school allocates your payments correctly. Checking your statements also helps you track your spending to know how much you still owe on your school fees. 

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