They say that the last days of December are not always the best days, especially for most family heads. They are usually broke from Christmas and New Year’s shopping, visits, parties and all the festive seasons expenses.
The early days of January do not make it any better for countless reasons; either most kids are getting ready to go back to school, and are drying their parents’ wallets with back to school shopping and tuition, or parents are busy paying in kind for over spending.
Hosea Kubana, living in Kigali with two daughters at King David Academy, says that he spends more in January when school opens, because it is the first term and he has to buy new necessities for his children.
“January always leaves me handicapped, money wise. My kids’ school increased their tuition and I had to buy them new thing like beddings too; as opposed to other terms when everything is already in place,” he laents.
Most students, especially those with struggling parents are also affected. Their parents are forced to pack for them less than they would wish to take with them to school and even reduce their pocket money.
Diane Akariza, a student at APRED Ndera, in Kigali says that complaining is not in the best solution as it is obvious that parents do not have all the money they need for back-to-school shopping.
“They are forced to give us little money, and we don’t complain because it is just not available. Mum always visits me in the course of the term; she will probably give me some more things then,” Akariza says.
The funny thing is that as parents are busy wailing for the rescue of their wallets, shopkeepers were happy cashing in on the season—if the fact that they had great sales is anything to go by.
“We had great sales during both weeks because students were buying things to take back to school like sugar and soap especially the ones in boarding schools,” says Fassasi Kabasha, a trader in general merchandise near the Kigali business district commonly known as “Quartier Matheus”.
Now that kids have returned to school, parents can now settle and make a new run for their money.