Back to school costs stinging parents

Drive 24/01/2018

As our kids start heading back to school the age-old issue of back to school costs creep up.

With many families struggling with high rent and food costs, getting stationary, uniforms and devices becomes very tough for those on low incomes.

There are even stories of parents not sending their kids to school because they are embarrassed they cannot afford the school's uniforms.

Darryl Evans from Mangere Budget Advisory Service told Stephen McIvor on Drive that families are struggling.

"The reality is that families have struggled for the last year anyway because they're paying 65 percent of their income to the landlord, for the most part, we've just gone through Christmas which is very expensive and of course now back to school costs."

Mr Evans says he has so far spent almost $800 on his son's school supplies for 2018.

He says since his organisation reopened in early January the number one request from people has been for food.

Families are more worried about feeding their kids as opposed to kitting them out in school uniform which often is crippling. 

Many schools are now asking students to bring their own devices such as a laptop or tablet.

"One of the parents has shown me what was expected by a particular school and she needed to buy a $780 device.

"I happened to have bought the exact same device for my son on Boxing Day bearing in mind I had the money available, I had planned for it. And the device I bought cost me $242," he told RadioLIVE.

"If you've got cash you can naturally shop around but for the most part our families have no disposable income."

Listen to the full interview with Darryl Evans above.

Drive with Stephen McIvor- in for Ali Mau, weekdays from 3pm-6pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the ROVA app on Android and iPhone.