Overwhelmed by never-ending school expenses?

Once your child hits high school, it feels like everything seems to cost more – clothes, shoes, games, not to mention the excessive amounts of food they eat now. It can seem almost impossible to put money aside for high school expenses such as uniforms, compulsory technology and school excursions. If you’re struggling, don’t worry you’re not alone and we hear you.

Kids starting high school want to try new sports, join debating teams, take art or dance classes and – BAM! – you’re faced with a whole lot of extras you now have to plan around. It can be absolutely soul-destroying when you have to put the breaks on and negotiate which activities they might have to miss out on each year, potentially choosing between interests that could one day lead them into a great career or passion project. 

We think that it shouldn’t have to be that way! How relieved would you feel if there was an extra $500 that you can put towards your child’s school-related costs? For them to finally receive a computer that has enough power to hold a multitude of design programs and games?

Having the resources to help your child with the things they both want and need is an aspiration for all parents. Thankfully, there are a few ways to make things easier.


For a start, it’s worth looking at stationery costs as these can be sneaky expensive when you add up what you spend across a whole year. If you have three kids at school, all using art supplies and a few other specialty items, your costs can creep up towards the $500 mark, so a decent discount here gives you more money to spend elsewhere.


Another way is to take advantage of school grants and scholarships. Surprisingly, there are more opportunities to get school grants and scholarships than parents may think, and they’re not all based on talent or income either. Some grants are simply to help out when families need it. 

If you’re looking for an easy way to tap into a readily available pool of funding and discounts, we think we might have just found it. Savvy parents are catching on to the Manchester Unity Membership – where members simply pay a small amount (just $8 per month) and essentially get it back when they need it for things like study scholarships, affordable family holiday homes, or overcoming other financial hardship. 

Manchester Unity is New Zealand’s largest friendly society; essentially a collective of parent members who support each other, and it’s been around for more than 170 years. Many members who apply manage to get a scholarship or grant every year, so your chances of getting the help you need are pretty great! On top of that you’ll qualify for more great perks like access to super afforable holiday homes, discounts, $9 movie tickets, fun online games and competitions, and so much more.

Parents have been so thankful for the help, and can’t believe what an easy process it all was. No catch!

“Emi was one of the recipients of the MU year 9 Education grant. When we first heard that she had been awarded this grant, we were thrilled. This is the first year she has needed to provide her own device for schoolwork, and the money was gratefully received and put towards purchasing a chrome book for her studies. The remaining money was used on school shoes as this was also a necessary uniform requirement for her new school. With four children, three at secondary school and three in uniform, the grant money was very appreciated and very timely for our family.” 

Loreena and Emi, Wellington

“Winning the Higher Education Award has made studying considerably easier for me by removing my financial stresses and allowing me to focus more on my academic studies, without their support I doubt I would have made it this far. I wholeheartedly recommend applying for this as Manchester Unity has been nothing but amazing and super helpful.” 

~ Anton, Bachelor of Science, Massey University

“Rebecca smiled and was happy but the financial side of starting a new school doesn’t bother her much-being a child she knows we just take care of it. As for me…I was excited, grateful and relieved. 2020 wasn’t a great year for us regarding income thanks to COVID.” 

~ Rebecca & Karen, Auckland

It’s definitely worth checking out. Whether you could do with the school grants and scholarships help, tap into stationery discounts or if you would love the opportunity to have a wonderful New Zealand holiday at a great price.


Manchester Unity has a passionate commitment to contribute to the health and well-being of the community in which we live.  This isn’t something new. We’ve been quietly giving back since 1842. Every year, we give cash to organisations that need our help. The Cancer Society, Motor Neurone Disease and the Epilepsy Association NZ have all benefited from our giving. We rally to support members in need and organise opportunities for members who want to get more involved in fundraising. Giving is great for the soul, and we’d love you to know your membership is helping others.  You too will become part of this commitment to give-back by taking a membership. Join us, you’ll like us!

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