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10 'back to school hacks' for busy parents

Whether you have one child or four (or more!), being a parent in the 21st century is a constant juggle. As school goes back and the daily routine resumes, here are 10 of the best apps, social pages and websites to help you stay on top of the everyday challenge of fitting it all in!

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  1. Choremonster
    Wouldn’t every parent’s life be easier if their kids helped out more around the house? Choremonster makes it more fun for kids to do chores - without constant nagging from mum or dad. Accessible via web or mobile, Choremonster enables kids to earn points for completing their allocated chores. They can then convert these into real life rewards – think an hour on the PlayStation, an ice cream or a few extra dollars pocket money. Easy to use for both kids and parents, Choremonster is geared towards kids aged 4 – 12. If your kids are older, try Choremonster’s big sister, Landra.
    Price: Free
    Apple | Android | KindleFire

  2. ShopWings
    Stay on top of your family’s household needs this year and avoid the supermarket queue in the process with ShopWings. This time-saving app takes away the hassle of shopping including travel time, parking and lining up at the register. Essentially a personal shopping service, ShopWings enables you to conveniently purchase (online or via the app) from local stores including Coles, Aldi, Costco…even Ikea! Receive your shopping within an hour or at a pre-designated time slot of your choosing.
    Price: Free
    Apple | Android

  3. Cozi
    A virtual family calendar designed to sync the schedules of every member of the household, Cozi helps more than 17 million families worldwide avoid the stress associated with staying organised. Features include a colour coded calendar, reminders, agenda emails, ‘to do’ lists, recipes, grocery lists and a family journal to record special moments and memories on the go. Cozi saves busy parents time and it’s also cross-platform, functioning happily across a suite of otherwise non-compatible devices.
    Price: Free
    Apple | Android | Windows 8

  4. iHomeWork 2
    If your household includes a disorganised teen who struggles to stay on top of their school work, iHomeWork2 could be your new best friend. An organisational app designed to meet the needs of high school students, iHomeWork2 allows users to plan and organise their school schedule. The updated overview and tag features enable students to view and manage ongoing assessment tasks, weekly homework and also make notes for future reference and research.
    Price: Free
    Apple

  5. Kids Favourite Dinners
    ‘What’s for dinner?’ It’s surprising how vexing this simple question can be! Kids’ Favourite Dinners promises an ever-expanding selection of meal ideas that kids actually love. The brainchild of a local Aussie mum, Kids’ Favourite Dinners allows you to drag and drop recipes into your personal meal plan for the week ahead. With a simple click, the site generates a shopping list based on your chosen meals (you can de-select ingredients you already have in the pantry). Too easy!
    Price: Free
    Visit website | Apple | Android

  6. LastPass
    Remembering passwords is a job in itself these days - and a tedious one at that. Save time and frustration and never forget another password by using LastPass. Ultra secure, with LastPass you only need to remember a single 'master’ password. LastPass safely and securely stores all your login details in the Last Pass Vault and makes logging into websites faster, easier and more secure.
    Price: Free
    Apple | Android | Windows

  7. HiPages
    Today’s combination of school, work, after school and weekend activities makes for hectic family lives. Add renovations, property or garden maintenance and other household tasks to the list and carving out quality family time becomes increasingly difficult! Enter HiPages – the website/app that helps you source trustworthy tradespeople who will take care of household maintenance and repairs for reasonable fees. With more than 80,000 tradespeople registered and verified Australia-wide, all you have to do is respond to a few quick questions, explain what you need done then select the quote that best suits you.
    Price: Free to use and connect with trades/services
    Apple | Android

  8. HelloFresh
    Meal times can be stressful, especially when you’re trying to juggle a hectic work schedule with today’s typical array of after school activities. HelloFresh takes the pressure off planning for, shopping for and cooking family meals. HelloFresh provides tasty, healthy recipes and will deliver the fresh ingredients you need to make each meal, straight to your door. Average cook time for most meals is just 30 minutes.
    Price: From $8.75/meal
    Visit website

  9. Finder.com.au
    Slimming down outgoings in the new year is something many parents want to do. Yet for busy mums and dads, the promise of achieving savings by switching energy company, internet provider, bank or insurance company can feel like more trouble than it’s worth. Finder.com.au makes these and other money-saving processes simpler and quicker by comparing reputable companies for you. A fast and easy online process helps time-poor mums and dads select products and providers that suit their family’s needs while improving the household’s bottom line.
    Visit website

  10. RateSetter
    New school shoes, textbooks, uniform, laptop, excursions, school fee payments…the list of education-related costs can quickly pile up at the start of a school year. If you need help to make your child’s school payments on time, a provider such as RateSetter may be able to assist*. RateSetter provides incidental, peer-to-peer personal loans with minimal wait time to credit-checked candidates.
    Visit website

  11. Wasn’t this a top 10? Well, yes. But because searching for the right independent school (or scholarship opportunity) is also a challenge for busy parents, we thought we’d give ourselves a mention. School Places helps you navigate the school selection process and can literally save you hours of research and phoning around.

*The information in this article should not be taken as financial product advice and has been prepared as general information only without consideration for your particular financial circumstances or needs. You should read the RateSetter Lending Platform Product Disclosure Statement or consult a professional financial advisor before acting.

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