Matric farewells can be very stressful and expensive for the parents and guardians who want to reward their children for their 12 years of hard work and motivate them for that all important final examination.
Sanlam Namibia Manager for Marketing and Communications, Hilaria Graig, says in view of the approaching season for matric farewells when many a Grade 12 learner from all over the country is preparing for the big event, it can be very costly but even more so if one has not saved for the expenses.
“In these trying economic times it makes sense now more than ever to put away some money every month for your child’s matric farewell. The costs of the matric farewell will differ from child to child as well as in which town they live in and the school they attend, but regardless of all these, the costs increase each year as new trends come into fashion and the expectation to outshine the previous matric students,” she says.
Graig adds that there’s a need to develop a saving culture, and with the costs of matric farewells going as high as N$10,000 or more, a unit trust account is the best option to save.
Unit trusts are professionally managed collective investment schemes where investors pool their money. The accumulated funds are then invested in a portfolio of assets (stocks, bonds, bills, etc.) and the individual investors gain in proportion to their investment, if the value of the underlying assets increases.
Saving with a unit trust has the following benefits:
Professionals manage your investment on your behalf;
Risks are minimised with adequate diversification;
Unit trusts are one of the most affordable ways of investing; and,
Unit trusts have no lock-ins and you can add money or switch at any time.
Having spoken to two of her colleagues whose children are currently in matric and preparing for their farewells, Graig says the verdict is that the costs are surprisingly and ridiculously high.
According to her one of her colleagues has been putting some money aside for the past two years since her daughter was in Grade 11 and she says she’s now happy to spend on her child for her matric farewell.
‘My daughter has been working hard in school all these 12 years; she’s doing very well at school so I want to ensure her matric farewell is a memorable one. The costs are very high and as we get closer to the event, more and more unexpected expenses come up.’
She says she and her husband have invested some money in a unit trust specifically for their daughter’s matric farewell so that they will not have to spend from their savings.
However, the same cannot be said for Graig’s other colleague who has not put any money aside and is now forced to spend money from his savings for his son’s matric farewell. He says he was not expecting the costs to be so high but is confident he can cover it all from his savings.
‘My son being the eldest child in our house means we were not at all prepared for the high expenses of his matric farewell – we have however learned from it and will ensure that we are prepared for our other children,’ says he.
Graig advises that whatever one’s budget for one’s child’s matric farewell, two things are clear. Firstly, saving is a must. “One should avoid by all means going to take a loan to cover for these kinds of expenses as it puts pressure on your finances in the long run.” Secondly, starting saving for one’s child’s matric farewell way in advance is very much advisable.
“The best thing to do is to set a goal of how much you want to save for the matric farewell and give yourself sufficient time (two to three years) to work towards that goal,” says Graig.
The table below shows what one can expect (give or take) to pay for a child’s matric farewell.
Dress N$1500.00 Suite N$N$1800
shoes N$660.00 Shirt N$500.00
Hair N$800.00 Tie N$300.00
Make-up N$400.00 Shoes N$800.00
Jewellery N$500.00 Hair N$100.00
Perfume N$600.00 Perfume N$600.00
Clutch bag N$100 Car (Ride) N$1000.00
Car (Ride) Friend (free) N$ 1000 Snack for family N$ 500.00
Photographer N$1450.00 Pocket money N$500.00
Nails N$250.00 unplanned expenses –, trips to suit fittings, barbershop) N$1000.00
After party outfit N$1500.00
Spending cash for after party N$300.00
Snacks family at home N$600.00
(unplanned expenses – makeup trial, trips to dress fittings, hairdresses, window shopping) N$2000.00
Contribution to venue hire N$1000.00
Total N$12,660.00 Total N$7,100.00
*Note: this cost will differ from child to child, school requirement etc.