The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which the introduction of school-based management (SBM) has affected schools' culture of consumption and the inequalities between schools with different socio-economic backgrounds. An analysis of financial reports from 31 SBM schools over four years reveals that schools have increased rather than decreased their expenditure on building maintenance. At the same time, schools' expenses on educational activities and programmes were slightly reduced. Moreover, it is evident that the funds secured by low socio-economic status schools for pedagogical activities and programmes are insufficient to bridge the gap between them and high socio-economic status schools unless a compensating formula is employed. Based on the findings obtained, it is concluded that educational systems should adopt a needs-based funding formula to ensure that schools are treated fairly and that the financial autonomy granted to schools through SBM enhances their pedagogical potential rather than broadening the inequalities between schools operating in different settings and serving children of different socio-economic backgrounds.