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Parents say back-to-school costs E620
Wednesday, 1st August 2012 10.25am

Latest research shows that parents estimate back-to-school costs of E487 for each child attending primary school and E620 for a secondary school child.

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) today urged parents to budget carefully for their back-to-school costs as the research, carried out by Amarach, on behalf of the NCA, found that 78pc of parents are more concerned about back-to-school costs than last year.

According to the research, nearly six out of ten parents will use their regular income to pay for school expenses this year. For parents that do not have money put aside for school costs this year, the NCA has a Back-to-school budget planner to help parents plan ahead and work out how much they can afford to spend on each item. Parents can use the budget planner to calculate their actual spending, see how it compares to their budget and reduce costs where they can.

Ann Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the NCA explained, "Based on our research, a family of four, with one primary and one secondary level child, could have to pay up to E1,100, on average, just to send their children back to school this year. Spending this amount of money on back-to-school costs is a significant financial pressure for most parents, especially those who may be already struggling financially. For parents who are worried about their back-to-school costs, working out a budget, planning their spending and looking for ways to cut their costs can make a big difference. The NCA's Back-to-school budget planner on nca.ie can help parents plan ahead and work out how much they can afford to spend so they don't end up spending more than they can afford to."

The NCA also has money-saving tips on nca.ie, detailing ways that parents can save on school expenses. The money-saving tips can help parents reduce their back-to-school spending on school uniforms, books, stationary and lunches.

Ms Fitzgerald continued, "Costs for back-to-school items vary significantly between retailers, so it's important for parents to look for bargains where they can. We would also urge parents to not feel pressurised into buying the most expense school items for their children, especially where these items may end up getting lost or only last a short period of time. Parents can use our money-saving tips to make sure they are not spending more than they need to and get the most for their money."

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