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Shop smart | Getting Kids Tech Ready for School + Giveaway

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BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is hitting our house in 2016 as Ethan heads off to Intermediate. Paying for this is probably a worry that I share with many kiwi families but don’t sweat it as I’m about to share with you my little Gem Visa secret. With 0% interest for 6 months on all purchases over $250*, Ethan’s new Chromebook ($500) will only set me back $83.33 a month (plus fees**) for repayment of my credit within the interest free period! That’s totally do-able! Here’s how easy it is …

Not going to lie, I’m pretty much a Professional Shopper by trade. I mean, no-one ‘hires‘ me to do the shopping for them……but I’ve got skills and I’m happy to share them with whomever is in need of some assistance with their retail therapy. You are welcome! ; )

I began my savvy-shopping journey at age 18 when I realised how important credit was. When I was in dire need of a shiny new thing (my first cell phone – Motorola Flipper, Sony MiniDisk player, Playstation 1……..just the bare essentials of course!) I began to look for interest free specials, purchase using HP and then save like mad and pay the finance off before the interest-free period was over. I only ever had one payment on the go at a time (this is still how I roll) and I made those zero interest specials work for me. Bam. Hello sweet, sweet credit rating. I still shop like this, preferring to keep my (husband’s) hard earned cash in the bank for as long as possible!

There are some big changes ahead for our wee family, and also some fairly sizable expenses. November, December and January see Ethan turn 11, the shopping madness of Christmas and, most importantly, Ethan finishes Primary School and will make the huge transition to Intermediate in 2016. Like everything, this comes at quite a cost. In an effort to spread the load I’ve paid the new school fees early to capitalise on this year’s rate, but yet to come is his uniform plus the purchase of a new device for him to use at school eeeek!

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Before we jump in and purchase anything of value I set some clearly defined boundaries;

  • What are we comfortable spending? What is our max upper limit? This is good to know because in some instances spending a little more (especially when purchasing tech) can equate to a huge value add.
  • How are we paying? I use my Gem Visa. It’s the smart way to pay for purchases over $250 as you get 6 months interest free!*
  • Where are we shopping and why? For nerd/$$$ items I love to shop at Noel Leeming because: 1. FlyBuys 2. They price match. Winning. In this instance though, I’m also going to check out Warehouse Stationery as I’ll be spending over $250, so I may as well make the most of the 6 months interest free period* and add some school supplies to the purchase as well!

So to break it down;

  1. Apply for your Gem Visa
  2. Make a plan – budget, decide on required device etc
  3. Visit Warehouse Stationery
  4. Complete your purchase over $250 to lock in that awesome 6 months interest free deal!*
  5. Set up automatic payments to avoid any interest charges – yay! You don’t have to do this at all, I just prefer to spread my repayments evenly over the 6 months interest free period : )


So, this week I’ll be talking to Ethan about what he feels comfortable transporting to and from school, I’ll be checking with the Intermediate about their tech expectations and I’ll be window shopping to see what’s out there and how much this little exercise is going to set me back! I know there are tonnes of you guys that are sending kids off to schools next year with BYOD expectations, so, join us next week, when we’ll be going shopping and finding Ethan the perfect device for the next 2 years (AT LEAST!).

Get your own kids Tech Ready and utilise Gem Visa’s awesome 6 months interest free offer on purchases over $250 by applying for your card now at To help you out even more, I am giving one of you the chance to win $250 to spend at Warehouse Stationery***  Enter by commenting below and watch out for another chance to enter next week. Your entry is confirmation that you have read and agreed to the competition terms as stated here.

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*Credit and Lending criteria, $55 establishment fee and $52 annual account fee apply. Prevailing interest rate (currently 25.45% p.a.) applies after 6 months interest free period. Gem Visa is provided by Latitude Financial Services.

**Over 6 months plus fees. Prevailing interest rate of 25.45% applies on expiry of the interest free period.

***The organiser and promoter of this competition is Latitude Financial Services is not an organiser or promoter of, nor is it otherwise involved with, this competition.



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I live in rural Auckland, New Zealand. Two boys, one big, one not so big and 2 boy dogs belong to me and I them. I love Coca Cola in all of its sugar-less forms and I love you internet. I take way too many pictures of my kids and collect them all here. This is what I am doing when I should be cleaning or cooking or doing other 'useful' things.

200 thoughts on “Shop smart | Getting Kids Tech Ready for School + Giveaway”

  1. with 3 children at school I have decided that they will be able to take a device from year 6. however i did not realise how fast that would sneak up on me, my eldest is year 6 next year! at the moment we are throwing around options, thinking maybe a chrome book may be the best bet.

  2. yep,it’s all a big expensive step that I not looking forward to! Any way I can save some money is awesome!

  3. Mate, I can’t believe byod is so normal already! I wonder when my 5 year old will have her turn.! Better start saving already!

  4. Eeekkk the thpight of BYOD makes my wallet runaway. I have 2 of 3 that will require devices all too soon and asuch as i love technology, the price tags are mot so much fun.
    Thankyou thankyou for the savvy tips!! makes me a lil less worried. Xx

  5. Some great tips there, thanks very much. I have 2/3 at school and things do get spendier as they grow up!

  6. The 0% interest is so handy & especially when you set up automatic payments like you mentioned above, makes it so much easier ?

  7. That’s a generous giveaway. My son has one more year of intermediate then it’s of to college. It all goes too quick.

  8. My daughter is year 6 next year and BYOD! I didn’t think we’d have to make that move till intermediate. We’ve got no choice school will only support Chromebooks!

  9. My oldest is heading to Intermediate next year. This is a really great post for me as I relate fully!

  10. Oh the joys of modern parenthood! We would love to be able to buy some awesome supplies at warehouse stationery

  11. Great advice about Noel Leeming doing a price match. I had never considered Stationery Warehouse as a place to purchase electronics but with my son about to head into BYOD I also need to wise up. Thanks for your tips.

  12. Dreading my 3 sons fees and expenses for next year. Must put a budget together now you have prompted us together with a schedule. Wow going to be costly year with tech gear.

  13. Not only fantastic but sensible advise as well. I also started an AP to the school which makes the big costs, i.e sports trips, camps easy to manage.

  14. Cripes, with three kids I better put this on the radar. Thankfully still using the communal class devices but BYOD will be here sooner than I think.

  15. I remember when my grandson started intermediate this year how hard it was for our daughter as a solo mum. She certainly could have done with reading a blog like this.

  16. I’ll be following your posts eagerly! My mr9 needs a chromebook for next year when he will be year 6. I wasn’t expecting this until intermediate at least!

  17. school can be expensive enough with the uniform stationary but the byod as well? Scary especially if you have more than one kid at school fantastic ideas tho Much appreciated

  18. With 2 kids at High school and 1 at intermediate and all needing a device I have no idea how we are going to cover it!!

  19. Wow, you’ve definitely done your research 🙂 good on you! Is BYOD becoming compulsory for all schools?

  20. We have 4 beautiful boys (youngest 10 months), due to starting a new school next year our eldest is going to need to BYOD, it will get fairly expensive when we need to provide for all our children.

  21. Great tips, especially checking with the school as to their expectations and what your child is comfortable lugging around all day! My ‘baby’ is off to Intermediate next year and that means a big step up in school work and BYOD.

  22. My eldest son is starting intermediate 2016 and I am starting to stress abit too. $13:99 just for a pair of ictchy socks…my list is growing. Enjoyed reading your ideas on savvy shopping.

  23. Thanks for the great tips. Ultilising businesses interest free periods is something I will be tryting in the future

  24. I was put to the test
    To find the answer to my quest
    It was all put to rest
    When I found Best Nest!

  25. Argh… it creeps up so fast, my son isin’t ready for BYOD for another two years but as he has a stutter, his speech therapist has recommended he gets one, as there are some helpful programmes and to also help with smooth talking before hitting Intermediate. Thank you for your tips as I have been wondering how I am going to manage it.

  26. Its so expensive to school children but it’s so important for their education, and future. this would be a huge help as my son needs a printer for his school studies, it costs us a fortune to go to the Internet shop to print out all his documents he needs.

  27. Feeling a tad behind the times, we’re still using a desktop pc at home and have no cellphone, and kids are needing their own devices for school? Cripes! Better start saving to catch up with it all in time for school starting for my fella

  28. Such good advice! I love the smart way that you approach this kind of purchase – planning and spreading those payments out so you’re not stressed is a great idea. My other tip is to plan in advance and then take advantage of sales – there’s always a bargain to be had!

  29. Amazing giveaway, having already put 5 kids through school and our youngest going through now, school costs at the beginning of the year is always a huge cost for any parent, this is a great option, my suggestion is to make sure you have insurance for any device you give your child school as well. Thanks Best Nest

  30. This is all very helpful advice. I have recently got a gem visa and it will be used for buying these devices. Ps love the blog.

  31. Buying items interest free but then paying them off BEFORE that interest free period ends is the best way to make the stores work for you!

  32. I find it’s so important to budget and spread payments so I’m not faced with a glut of bills at the beginning of the school year after the expense of Christmas and summer holidays.

  33. Yes! With technology the ways it’s going it has certainly become a part of life ! We are entering this BYOD in primary school and we are thinking whaaaat! Already! He’s only 8! But yes that’s how the world is going . I remember the good old days of encarta haha

  34. I still vividly remember the moment I went into labour with my eldest. I can’t believe next year she will be 10. Where has 10 years gone? The next phase in her life will see her move away from playing Shopkins and Little Live pets and move to makeup, phones and ipads! Arghhhh!! Obviously schooling will get much more expensive so $250 will be an enormous help. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have to start planning now so that come Feb next year, all funds are in place

  35. My son is already becoming acquainted with our laptops and phones, which I hope will set him up for when he’s older and needs his own device. All types of learning are important. 🙂

  36. Great ideas for smart shopping. With four children we are finding the increasing technology demands very expensive!

  37. Great read it is my oldest daughter’s first year of college next year and omg it is not cheap this would be so helpful 😉

  38. Wow this is awesome, definitely going to screenshot this so can look back on it, so glad to find someone has done this type of blog so thank you very much. BYOD is so common which is quiet scary especially for your first child to need it and I’m not even sure if my daughter needs it next year or not as we don’t get told what we need until the month before school goes back.

  39. It is a more eye opening time where byob is the norm for children, any advice is much appreciated xx

  40. Great ideas which really got me thinking . I work in telecommunications and IT and BYOD is definitely the way of the future.

  41. I have 2 in byod classes already and number 3 beginnings his trek into the digital world next year also. What I wouldn’t give to be able to get him something new. 1 income n 4 kids… I’m trying as hard as I can to make every cent stretch. It’d be amazing to not get into any more debt with the help from #warehousestationary

  42. Great read and great advice! Being prepared is the only way to go if you don’t want to pay threw the roof for everything. I’m not looking forward to when I need to buy devices for my kids, school is already expensive enough

  43. With one at school and another starting in two weeks I really need to address tech devices and what rules I want to set around their usage. Your tips are great and I will need to investigate the schools policies and requirements for our kids. Plus shopping for quality and best deal so important. Thanks Best Nest for this opportunity xx

  44. This sounds like a great way to get the kids sorted if you’re on a budget. Thank you so much for sharing!

  45. Thanks for all the information and great ideas. I know it is the way we are going, but I do worry about the younger generation losing the ability to write freehand and work out maths in their heads. So many people I have spoken to say it depends on the teacher as to how much/often they use devices in the classroom. Some teachers still prefer to have the students write out essays, do maths on paper, etc as well as on their devices but some teachers do just about everything on the device. I love the idea of having your kids write thank you cards and letters to friends and family and I get sad when I think of the days when they will just ‘flick’ and email to them instead – filled with all sorts of emoticons. I will drag myself from the dark ages and into this world of technology. It is a tough decision though of what to buy and just how much you can afford at the time. School is so expensive now

  46. Thanks for a great article, My son turned 5 last week and started school and I can’t believe how much the expenses have added up already, with uniform and stationary and other supplies. I am also very pro technology (in moderation) My son has autism and he never spoke, when he was 3 in speech language therapy they recommended getting him an iPad and I saved for a long time and brought an iPad Mini, It only has educational apps, speech apps and sign language apps. He is now 5 and talking (thanks to a lot of speech language therapy) but we still use the iPad and I think it has helped him catch up – He thinks it is a “treat” and is allowed it every couple of days for 20 mins or so, and I love seeing him so engaged in learning.

  47. We have 4 kids from Primary to university, safe to say the beginning of the year is not our favourite time. The frustrating thing is the devices you buy these days are sadly not built to last, so need replacing frequently too. Takes serious planning or a magic money tree 🙂

  48. I can’t believe I haven’t thought about what things my Son is going to need once he hits High school not next year but the year after. I guess I’ll start saving now (or look into the Gem VISA to spread the payments out at least)!

  49. Great advice on using credit wisely and how to take the sting out of getting all those pricey school essentials purchased in one go.

  50. Thanks for all the information, I have been thinking of getting a GEm card .. love idea of interest free every penny saved is worth while

  51. Goodness, the expenses just keep coming. Be interesting to see what you end up getting and how it holds up to the rigours of school life!

  52. BYOD at my Teens School since Year 9, it’s actually gone really well 🙂
    At the end of this year we will be moving on to a new BYOD for Year 12, as the needs are now quite different from what was the first couple of years.

  53. My daughter will be 6 in January so best we start saving as soon she will need to have that as well. It kills me to know how fast our kids grow up. Hopefully by the time she needs one we are able to afford the BYOD. ?

  54. Take a deep breath .. Read up on all the info school provides about BYOD. Talk to other parents. Think about your own budget restraints, attend the discount evenings that the school may offer in partnership with the Device outlets and one last important tip… Consider the future requirements of your child because you don’t want to be buying another device for a long time. Buy the device that will take them at least through to tertiary study and therefore has the capability …

  55. I can see pro’s and con’s to BYOD – it gives I guess a responsibility to look after it more than a communal one. But it’s just another expense for parents! Though i guess it’s super helpful for homework and worth the investment. This deal from Gem Visa sounds super helpful though!

  56. Our oldest two had to buy laptops through intermediate this year-next year the oldest one will be going to high school and I’m just hoping they are going to be happy with the device he already has, rather than specifying the exact laptop or tablet he must have. Very expensive otherwise…

  57. Good ideas there, it’s always hard at the start of the year with uniforms, stationery, devices etc so the voucher would be wonderful.

  58. BYOD! What a crazy world we live it. I wonder if our parents/ older? thought it was crazy that we had to take our own books and pencils?

    Anyways, if love $250 to spend at warehouse stationary! My fav shop! The things I could do! New printer? Storage solutions? Arts and crafts and stationary? Photos and albums? ??

  59. This is us too next year. My daughter is so excited and has fallen in love with a pretty turquoise coloured Chromebook from Warehouse Stationery. It’s an exciting time for our kids isn’t it? And so cool to see the learning opportunities that open up to them with technology!

  60. With three at high school BYOD was a bit of a nightmare – luckily the school didnt have a device they preferred so I could budget shop 🙂

  61. We homeschool so it’s MSYD (Mumma Share Your Device) round here… But with 5 kids the Warehouse Stationary voucher would be most welcome to help with schooling supplies!

  62. Thanks for sharing! With 2 girls at school any tips and advice is greatly appreciated and a Warehouse Stationery voucher would be awesome!

  63. my daughter has trouble remembering to bring her lunchbox home let alone a chrome book! I’m not looking forward to it at all! Not just the whole chrome book thing but just the thought of my baby at intermediate. She’s growing up x

  64. BYOD is scary, never thought to check with the school about their expectations.
    Well done for learning those lessons at such a young age! I’m 35 & have just learnt to wait! I’m an impulse shopper me, see it – want it – tick it up!

  65. My daughter needs a cromebook next year – I don’t even know what that is! Thanks for the payment option advise!

  66. I have three kids all close in age so not looking forward to the time I have to supply them with a device each…eek!!

  67. Woo awesome for the Kiddies when back at school comes LOL I know they have only just broke up for Christmas but there is no harm in thinking ahead of time

  68. I keep thinking that once my son turns 5 he may need a device or devices for school, I feel old thinking that being in the class with a computer was a big deal

  69. We unschool and don’t have any brand pressure. We’ve bought new laptops from the warehouse bargain bin and upgraded to win10 free!

  70. A lot kids in my family are turning 5 next year. Would be awesome to win this so I can buy them pressies 😀

  71. Schools out for summer…but all too soon we have to face the stationary buying trauma and the expense, thanks so much for the tips. 🙂

  72. It’s exciting yet daunting to think how far technology has come, it is obviously the way of the future. Great ideas and great giveaway!

  73. I can’t remember if I commented already! I’m not a huge fan of kids with too much screen time and wifi exposure (old hippy that I am!) but I understand that this is the way of the future, and we can’t stop that! Unfortunately for this solo mum student, Q would turn down my application and I’d have no way to provide this for my girls at this time..

  74. BYOD I never thought of that, we are in the starting ground of adopting so this is something that will be useful to know. What a great tip about using GEM for these expenses to be able to spread the cost comfortably

  75. By the time my little one starts school pens will almost be obsolete! Scary really when I had to earn a pen licence at primary school

  76. If I was lucky enough to win this would go to helping my grandchildren get their stationary for next year

  77. I prefer the schools choosing an affordable product(ie chromebooks) which they can get a volume discount on and support internally with their own IT staff. Better than a parent having to buy a new device while their old one is away for weeks for warranty service

  78. Thanks for the awesome tips. Not yet there but will be soon and will keep these tips in mind… good luck to your big guy for his new adventure

  79. This would be a very useful tool to getting my storage solutions sorted out before the husband and son begin their studies next year.

  80. Wow I hadn’t realised that kids have devices so early? Obvious when I think about it. We had one computer per class when I went to school. And it was mainly used for word processing or playing tetris!!

  81. Giving my kids a device that expensive freaks me out, thankfully my eldest is only starting Primary next year!

  82. It’s a reality I’m not looking forward to, having to budget for BYOD on the stationary list. We’ll also need to update the pc at home to be capable of data sharing. Great tips above to get the process started ahead of time to keep the budget on track!

  83. Such a great idea setting up auto payments for your GEM Visa, doing that starting payday! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  84. This would be SUPER handu for the start to the new year!!! My partner is looking into Gem Visa already so this is excellent extra advice! 🙂

  85. Really good ideas!
    The warehouse stationary voucher would be amazing! Would totally cover my wedding stationary amount ?

  86. As a parent who works at a high school that encourages BYOD and on the BoT at my children’s primary and intermediate school that is steering in the BYOD direction, these are great tips! Warehouse stationery have always been a pleasure to deal with!

  87. Gosh stationery etc gets expensive! I have a gem visa card as well, prior to this I had no credit rating. I prefer to buy things 5 years interest free, usually paid within this time frame though. Just allows me more time if needed.

  88. This is a useful read. Our daughter will be 7 next year and in a 1 on 1 iPad class so we are currently debating what to do re an iPad. Cheers

  89. I totally feel you here with BYOD stupid schools I have 2 that need an I told school I can no where near afford so $250 would be a massive help I could start saving now till Feb an get one an they can share would be great we were given a list of ones to get range from 300 to 2000 bliming heck so the 300 is more my corner as a single mum with 3kids no help from dads side I work hard to support my 3kids but by golly school is not helping oh an warehouse stationary my number 1 school stop greatest staff in new Lynn store

  90. What a great read it is nice to know so many of us are not on our own struggling to know what to do how to afford it all !

  91. Great tips thanks! Wish I was smart and only used my gem visa for interest free purchases because the 20% odd interest us now killing me!

  92. Technology is so expensive or maybe I have expensive taste. Good shopping tips though will keep these in mind next big expense we have.

  93. Some good ideas utilizing interest free is a great way to reduce the stress if paying for it all upfront

  94. Would love to win this, it’s a pretty tough time at the moment and this would be such a treat. Good luck to all the entrants

  95. We are also having to make a new purchase. Its very hArd being a low income family but somehow I will work it out.
    Who would have thought a state school would request yr 4 students to have come books huh?

  96. Thanks for all the information and great ideas. I Will be passing on the information to my daughter to look at to see if it is a viable option for them 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  97. With 3 kids in a close age range, I have to save and choose wisely. I really have been trying to install a sense of responsibility regarding their backpacks and their belongings, as replacing one is going to be difficult.

  98. It certainly is expensive. I try to limit the financial shock, but as with all things one must be super careful with racking up the credit cards (and actually carry on the well thought at this much per week/month plan otherwise 20% is heinous… learnt the hard way) thanks for the great tip though! (I certainly hope the byod device doesnt get destroyed or any other airheaded thing my monkey could come up with!

  99. Thanks so much for the information you’ve given as i’m about to head into the boyd dilemma. The maze is a little clearer now.

  100. our daughter is heading to intermediate next year too! an expensive time in their lives that is for sure! a warehouse stationery bonus would be a huge help 🙂

  101. I hopevyour kids take caee of tbeir devices. A friend’s kid has had to have two replacements this year from throwing his bag on the ground not thinking

  102. I am a teacher at a school that has BYOD for year 4 up. It is always interesting to see it from a parent’s perspective as my little one started school this year.

  103. My daughter will be in year 12 at College doing her NCEA level 2, she will benefit greatly from BYOD but the initial fork-out will be stressful and expensive. Great investment though. 🙂

  104. Lots of good ideas I can use with our ten year old, thanks! I think one of the hardest things about this area is the rapid rate of change, it makes keeping up a real challenge.

  105. My daughter is in Yr5 next year and we purchased a chromebook for her for her birthday in Sep just been. I purchased with our GE finance card which gave me 90 days interest free. I didn’t want to drag paying it off, wanted it done and dusted. My son will need his own device at start of 2017, his borthday falls in March, I prob will get him a chromebook in Mar 2016 for birthday (great cause it gives them a “big” pressie, but we kinda have to get anyway). Our school gives the option of payment plans too which is really great. School also allows regular payments throughout the year to pay off fees, trips etc. A little bit of planning is all you need. In saying that we also have braces for our daughter next year too, ekkkkk. But again we will take advantage of the payment plans on offer 🙂

  106. My son will be 9 next year and already has to have a device. We both love shopping at the warehouse stationary. $250 would help heaps with the cost of a device.

  107. Wow this would be amazing my oldest daughter starts college next year ekkkkkkkkkkkkk and it is so expensive then would help so much 😉 Merry christmas and you have such awesome giveaways Xx

  108. I agree that using the interest free deals can be a great way to get what you want now, without overspending. The key is definitely to pay off the balance before the interest free period is up though, or you could get stung badly! Also need to watch out for annual fees etc because they can add up quickly

  109. I like your rule of one thing on the go at once and the AP! Breaking it down into weekly payments makes it much less daunting than looking at the overall total!

  110. Thanks for the great tips, $250 would go a long way towards schooling extras needed for my 3 kids next year, Merry Christmas

  111. Ah man I do not look forward to this! My own laptop is still recovering for the toddler hood of #1, hiding under the couch in a questionable number of pieces.

  112. Good advice, in the past I’ve rushed to my bank for a small loan, but interest free is better. Creams it cards get a bad rap, people just need to learn how to use them smarter.

  113. Wow!!! What an awesome prize!!! With our daughter starting at Intermediate next year & needing her own device things will be tight for our family to manage device… Stationary….uniform…school fees etc…this prize will take a bit of pressure off!! Thanks Best Nest!!! Love what you do!!! ????????????????????

  114. We’re about to do our second round of byod tha god the kids are doing it they can show me how to use mine 🙂

  115. Hi, we have 3 at college next year…my big tip for byod?? I found a website that sells ex-lease refurbished laptops cheaply. Got lots of advice to make sure it’s a reputable site and the devices were all good. So this morning I ordered 3 Acer laptops for $179 each. Free shipping too!! I also got really good laptop bags on clearance at The Warehouse for $7.47 each. Really good way to do it!!

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