KUALA LUMPUR - While kids are excited over starting a fresh year at school, parents are feeling the pinch on their wallets.
Many parents said they have to fork out hundreds of ringgit for stationery, school bags, uniforms and books.
Despatch officer S. Gunalan, 51, doesn't mind spending RM600 (S$231) on his 10-year-old daughter Praveena, as "school is not something you should save on".
"Things are more expensive this year, but we must get good quality items. However, we must also keep track of things like stationery, items like colour pencils and erasers often go missing or are borrowed and never returned."
Single parent Zana Riah, 55, has one school-age daughter and has budgeted RM400 for school supplies.
"I get most of Alya's things from wholesale markets like Hari-Hari. Otherwise it's just too expensive. I have three other kids, but they are grown up now and have their own families to take care of," she said.
For housewife Laili Azura, 42, having three daughters allows for some things to be shared among them.
"This year I spent about RM600 already. Things are definitely more expensive than last year, but fortunately we have some leftover stationery and other items which can be re-used."
Salme Mariam Abdullah, 38, said while costs for items like uniforms and school bags hadn't increased much from last year, books were definitely more expensive.