Back to school planning

THE summer holidays may have arrived for children across the country only a few weeks ago, but as most parents know it’s never too early to start planning for the new school term in September. Recent studies also show that Back to School expenses are getting higher and higher each year.

THE summer holidays may have arrived for children across the country only a few weeks ago, but as most parents know it’s never too early to start planning for the new school term in September. Recent studies also show that Back to School expenses are getting higher and higher each year.

According to a report from the Irish League of Credit Unions published last week families are paying on average €400 per child during the costly back-to-school period.

The study, carried out by the Irish League of Credit Unions found the average cost for a second-level student is €470 while it costs €320 to send a child to a primary school.

Uniforms were the most expensive element of the back-to-school bill for most parents, The league’s chief executive Kieron Brennan said that the cost can put significant pressure on households and the ability of some families to pay essential bills.

The survey, carried out last month among 1,000 people, found that 46 per cent of parents were able to use their monthly income to source back-to-school necessities. But 54 per cent had to rely on credit cards, their savings or borrowings.

Some 7 per cent of parents will be forced to forgo or delay a credit card payment to meet all back-to-school expenses for their children, incurring additional interest charges. Mr Brennan said some families were being forced into debt or to dip into savings to afford the costs.

There were significant numbers of parents using their credit cards and savings to pay for their child’s back-to-school needs, with many parents feeling that the back-to-school allowance was insufficient to cover costs, Mr Brennan remarked.