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The school run is turning out more expensive than I realised... I dont think we can afford it

(54 Posts)
Blueschool Thu 27-Sep-12 22:37:46

My ds, now in year 2, was attending a local infant school -which was fine.

However, we saw many parents with older children having hugely complex problems with juniors, so we put ds down on waiting lists for "through" primaries as a back up.

Unexpectadly, a space came up at a good school 2 days before start of term. It was a rush decision tbh. The school It is a 20 min drive away, but I calculated we could just about afford the petrol.

However, it Seems despite me checking figures the actual reality is petrol has already exceeded my monthly calaculation is just 3 weeks.

We were already cutting it fine, but this is just beyond our budget with the reality of the spending.

I have no idea what I expect anyone to say Im just sat here wondering what the heck to do, and has anyone else been in this position?

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 22:41:13

No chance of sharing lifts with someone?

admission Thu 27-Sep-12 22:41:43

I think the obvious answer is to try and find somebody else living near to you with a child in the same year group ideally and share car journeys.
It would not in my opinion be sensible to consider moving your son again, even if that was possible, as he has already had one move. You need to be looking for a solution around the same school not a different school.

AgentProvocateur Thu 27-Sep-12 22:41:53

Petrol's not going to get any cheaper. Can you car share with another parent or get a bus? If not, it would seem your only option is to move him back to the local school, and hope there's still a place.

Viviennemary Thu 27-Sep-12 22:41:57

I haven't been in this position. The only thing I can think of is can you share lifts with another parent.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 22:46:52

If you don't know anyone ask at school - you may find a lift share.

Blueschool Thu 27-Sep-12 22:46:56

Hi there is literally nobody else near us. We are the only ones this far out.

lisad123 Thu 27-Sep-12 22:47:52


MegBusset Thu 27-Sep-12 22:48:38

Can you cycle with a trailer or bike seat on the back?

Blueschool Thu 27-Sep-12 22:49:09

Although I will double check with the school just incase but I know there is certainly nobody in year 2 (got emailed class list earlier in week).

Blueschool Thu 27-Sep-12 22:50:44

No bike would not be possible, I also have pre school children too.

Do you have an economical car?

I know its probably not an option (it isnt for us and we are in the same situation) but can you get a more economical car?

MegBusset Thu 27-Sep-12 22:53:44

Have you checked with the council, some offer free transport to children over a certain distance although given that you chose to move him from a nearby school, you may not be eligible.

Otherwise it looks like your only options are:
a) send him back to local school
b) cut back on something else to pay for petrol
c) ask a family/friend to help (eg do you know anyone who travels to work in that direction and could drop him off)

SavoyCabbage Thu 27-Sep-12 22:55:04

There are only four options (I think)

Share lifts.
Move house or schools
Make more money

Sharing lifts is the easiest I suppose. Can you ask if the school could put it in their newsletter, just in case.

SavoyCabbage Thu 27-Sep-12 22:56:19

How old are your other children? Can they not go in a bike trailer?

AmberLeaf Thu 27-Sep-12 22:59:27

Bus? or are you in the middle of nowhere with appalling bus service?

Blueschool Thu 27-Sep-12 23:00:01

I looked at smartcar but not sure we can afford to buy one. We would get £1600 max for our car now and cannot afford any loans, but we will look into it in more detail incase there is a way around it.

Meg you are right. I looked over LA policy and it states if you voluntarily move your child you forgo the right to help with transport.

I would have kept ds at infants but was panicking with all the issues I saw other families going through.

RaisinDEtre Thu 27-Sep-12 23:00:56

anyone local that can have the preschool children whilst you bike the school age one over?

beachyhead Thu 27-Sep-12 23:01:28

I guess a 20 minute drive is more than a bike can do, unless you are urban. I think you just have to look for shares, that's all you can do

zipzap Thu 27-Sep-12 23:01:38

Start looking around at other closer schools that are good too and put your ds down for as many as possible, in the hope that something closer comes up sooner rather than later.

And unfortunately the way petrol prices are going - it's getting more and more expensive and just going to carry on getting worse, especially as they seem to be able to push the prices up 5-10p a go when they see some sort of problem but as soon as that's gone, they just take it back a penny instead.

Is it worth speaking to the head teacher too to see if they know of anybody else in your direction?

RaisinDEtre Thu 27-Sep-12 23:01:43

did you talk to prev school about the issues you perceived?

A 1.5 dci megane would be pretty economical. And you can get them 2nd hand within your price range. They have mpg between 50-65!

We are saving for one at the minute.

Blueschool Thu 27-Sep-12 23:05:22

There is no bus at all to the village were school is. I wish there was.

Walking or cycling is just out of the question. As well as my other 2 dcs, Its 6 miles away through narrow, very, very hilly and and at times dark country lanes with no pavements. 24 miles a day would just be too much.

Sorry I sound very defeatist -but I also trying be realstic.

solidgoldbrass Thu 27-Sep-12 23:05:51

What is the situation with public transport? Is there any? Is it more or less expensive than petrol? (I am car-free, have never owned a car and therefore no idea whether public transport is cheaper or more expensive.)

Schnullerbacke Thu 27-Sep-12 23:07:45

Can you drive more economically? I dont know how feasable it is for you but I have found a new hobby this week: not driving my car but rolling it (this is going to sound so odd).

Basically, until I tried this I didnt realise how many little up and downs our roads around here have so I have started to see how far I can drive the car without it being in gear. So I give it a bit of oompf and whenever a slight downhill or straight is ahead I take car out of gear and just roll along. Obviously whenever I slow down too much I go straight back in it (4th or 5th gear) but I have been rolling heaps this week and noticed a real difference in the amount of fuel I have wasted this week. Worth a try?

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