Summer is still in full swing but holiday programmes are wrapping up and backpacks will soon be filled as children set off for the first day back at school.
And for families struggling to make ends meet, help is at hand.
Yana Griffits, store manager of Rotorua The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery, said the stores had seen a significant increase in customers compared to the same period last year.
"The licensed and fashion stationery ranges have been a massive hit with customers, especially off the back of the Frozen 2 movie release and the Star Wars movie."
Griffits said the store had provided the local Ministry of Social Development office with its price-lists for school uniforms so they were able to provide enough support to their clients by preparing for the upcoming back to school costs.
Rotorua Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said the Salvation Army understood the beginning of the school year was often difficult for many families with back to school expenses.
The Salvation Army was there to support people where they were able, she said.
"What we find is that nearing the end of the school holidays as people see the back to school date fast approaching, we do have families coming to ask if we can help them in some way," Overbye said.
"Usually this is for food assistance, as they may have had to put their housekeeping money into ensuring their children have the correct school uniform, stationery and have school bags or lunch boxes, etc.
"The school year also comes with additional fees that need paying for in-school expenses too, and for some families there's also a requirement to purchase devices for their children's education.
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"It can get a bit overwhelming, and you can imagine the more children in the family, the greater the expenses can become."
Overbye said if families were struggling, they were welcome to have a chat with one of the Salvation Army team, who would help them find a workable solution.
"Being able to manage upcoming expenses with good budgeting is recommended, but the reality is many people who are just getting by week-by-week already struggle to look beyond their needs of that day or that week. It's difficult for people."
Citizens Advice Bureau Rotorua manager Jane Eynon-Richards said some clients were concerned at finding money for new school year costs.
"They worry about meeting the costs of school uniforms, stationery, activity fees, etc, especially so close to Christmas and the financial pressures that can create."
Eynon-Richards said there were a few options the bureau could give these clients.
For people on low income or benefits they could apply to Work and Income for a recoverable loan to cover the cost of these items.
For people raising children who were not their own (like grandparents) there was the School and Year Start UP Payment available from Work and Income.
"Other options we suggest are using second-hand uniform shops that several of the schools operate, or talking to the principal of the school to see if there is any pastoral care funding that can be accessed at the school."
Eynon-Richards said sometimes clients were uncomfortable about attending appointments at Work and Income.
"Maybe they have trouble getting across their case or explaining their needs, or do not always know their entitlements - in these cases we have a small team of volunteers who will attend these appointments with the clients, to provide guidance, to ask relevant questions and to assist with any communication issues.
"Clients just need to contact the bureau to access this service."
Children make the most of last holiday days before back to school
Lynmore Primary School pupil Coco Stevens, 9, said she was "looking forward to seeing my friends and meeting new people in my class".
"Each day you learn something new and you improve as you're learning."
Western Heights Primary School pupils Marlene Simon, 8, and Linda Simon, 6, both said they were looking forward to seeing and playing with their friends, and both enjoyed reading and writing at school.
However, they enjoyed being on holiday and doing activities such as spending time with family and spending Christmas money.
Kevin Wu, 11, will be starting his first year at John Paul College this year, and is looking forward to meeting new people and seeing who is in his class.
He said he liked maths and science because he found them interesting, and he liked school because he got to see his friends and learn each day.
Augustina Soto, 6, said she was looking forward to going back to Glenholme Primary School and learning new things.