Don’t break the bank for a matric ball.
Social media – especially Facebook – is abuzz with pictures of young adults going to their matric balls, and I absolutely love it!
More than the stunning dresses, snazzy suits, glamorous hairstyles and make-up, not to mention the flashy cars, I particularly love reading the status updates and comments of parents, family and friends.
Besides joy, there is pride, and this pride is justified.
Because while many might say “why are they going on like this, it’s only matric”, I feel proud of the youngsters in my community who have – through trials, tribulations and adversity – stayed the course and got this far.
Especially after the mess the education system has been for the past 18 months.
So, well done!
However, I do feel that some parents are going way overboard on matric ball expenses, especially when it means getting themselves into unaffordable debt because of it.
If your budget can afford the cash, account or credit card purchases for this occasion, then go for it! But if it can’t – then please don’t.
If you have the kindness and generosity of family and friends who can help out with matric ball expenses (whether in cash or kind) then you are incredibly blessed.
Someone might offer the use of their car. A family member might offer jewellery and accessories for the night, and loved ones might bring something for “the table”.
However, that still leaves a considerable amount of expenses to cover these days.
Some people are paying R2500 for matric ball decorations, R1000 for personalised cakes, R1500 on hair and make-up, R5000 for a dress, R2000 for shoes and accessories, R1000 for car hire, R1000 for a photographer, and thousands of rands to feed family and friends at “the table”.
Let me make myself clear – there is nothing wrong with this, if you can afford it, and the other current and future necessities have been covered.
But life does go on after the matric ball, and you do not want to be paying that debt off for the next few years.
Points to consider when splashing out on a matric ball:
- If you are responsible for your child’s school fees, please ensure that it is up to date before forking out for the matric ball. It’s the right thing to do.
- If your child is planning on studying further after matric, especially at a private institution, make sure that you have at least the registration fees on hand.
- If you have applied for NSFAS funding, make sure that all the paperwork is in order – the same with any other bursaries or student loans. The night’s festivities count but so does your child’s future.
- Sit with your child and draw up a realistic budget for the matric ball. If you see you cannot afford it, scale down in certain areas if need be. Does your child really need R1200 name brand heels, that she probably won’t wear again, when a far lower priced, unbranded one can serve the same purpose?
- Consider sharing costs with another family. If you leave from one house or venue, then you could share the costs of a photographer, vehicle hire, the table, etc.
- No matter how much we want to give our children the best, we can only do so much.
After all, os kannie bloed uit ‘n klip slaan nie.
Urge your child to look beyond the material things in this life. Remind them of what is truly important.
Stand strong and don’t be swayed by tears and tantrums.
It’s your credit record that is going to be negatively affected if you can’t pay your accounts as required, and your reputation that is going to suck if you can’t pay back money you borrowed from family and friends.
Needless to say – make sure that you have money set aside for your debt repayments, and necessities like rent, food, electricity and transport for the foreseeable future – before splashing out.
Don’t go all out to impress the Jones’, and then you have to borrow a cup of sugar from them after the big night!
Please, don’t get me wrong. I am not telling you to not spend money on your child’s matric ball. I am just encouraging you to be sensible about it.