The Bridges family are trying to cut their back-to-school budget to save money.
The Bridges family are trying to cut their back-to-school budget to save money. Northern Star

Back-to-school costs hit parents' hip pocket

WITH two children about to go back to school and one at preschool, Clunes mum Kylie Bridges is feeling stressed by the extrafinancial strain.

“We decided we were going to get everything done in one day,” she said.

“We’ve been buying pencils, erasers, sharpeners, pencil cases, new bags, a world map, glue and notebooks.

“Then there’s haircuts, new school shoes and new uniforms.

“It does start to add up, but fortunately the shops are having sales.”

According to a new survey from the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG), the financial crisis has affected the ability of parents to cope with education costs.

ASG general manager Michelle Hunder said only 35 per cent of parents saved for their children’s education.

Instead, parents are going without luxuries (49 per cent), cancelling holidays (41 per cent), taking on extra work (33 per cent) and taking out loans (16 per cent).

“Families are telling us they will make cuts elsewhere in order to continue meeting education costs,” Ms Hunder said.

However, this comes as the cost of education continues to rise.

ASG has estimated it will cost up to $13,000 to send a child to a private primary school, compared with $5500 for a public primary school.

It will cost more than $22,000 to send children to a private secondary school, but just under $6000 for a public school.

Ms Bridges, who sends her children to Clunes Public School, said the costs were ‘no worse’ than last year.

“When we’ve been shopping there’s a lot of ‘put that back’ from me,” she said.

“I’m just careful with the brands. I bought erasers for 50 cents, but there are some for $3.
“I’ve been budgeting for this. “


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