Australian parents will be forced to fork out thousands of dollars on school expenses this year, as back-to-school budgets soar, according to new research.
School supplies alone are expected to set households back a staggering $3.5 billion nationwide for the year ahead, Finder analysis revealed.
Stocking up on supplies such as new textbooks, stationary and uniforms will cost parents on average $684 for primary school children and $1132 for secondary students.
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This jumps to $2547 for each primary school child and $4793 for secondary students, or a national spend of $12.9 billion, when other costs such as tuition fees, camps and sporting equipment are considered.
The Finder data shows tuition fees cause the most hip pocket pain, costing parents on average anywhere between $158 for a public primary school in the Northern Territory to $12,860 for an independent secondary school in NSW.
School supplies accounted for the second highest spend, with parents set to fork out $684 on average for primary school students and $1132 for secondary students.
Uniforms are the priciest back-to-school item, costing $245 for primary students and $469 for secondary students each year.
Other hidden costs include transport to and from school, costing primary students $530 and secondary students $632, and school camps, costing $323 and $458 respectively.
Finder personal finance expert Sarah Megginson said the soaring cost of living was causing stress for Australian families.
“For some, the cost of paying for school expenses right now will be too much to bear,” she said.
“It’s becoming tough for parents to provide their kids with all the essentials.
“From uniforms, to tech, to sports equipment, stationary — the checklist can seem never ending.”
Megginson urged struggling parents to contact their schools to see what help was available, such as payment plans, and to find ways to cut costs.
“Re-use whatever you can from previous years,” Megginson said.
“For items that might easily be lost such as lunch boxes and water bottles, opt for budget-friendly brands.
“If you can set up a bank account now where you auto-transfer even just $5 a week, that will give you a few hundred dollars to help manage back-to-school expenses when the new school year rolls around in 2025.”