Rise in the number of families planning to save in response to cost-of-living pressures

Plans to save for the future have increased to 51%, according to Zurich’s annual ‘Cost of Education’ survey which shows families now more likely than last year to start a savings fund.

As cost-of-living pressures continue, savings rates appear to be making a steady recovery this year after savings and spending habits were impacted by COVID-19 and a sustained period of inflation.

According to Zurich’s annual Cost of Education survey*, conducted by iReach this May and June, 56% of families in Ireland already have savings in place that have acted as a shield against the cost-of-living pressures. This figure is slightly up on 2022 (54%).

The good news is that plans to save are on the increase, with the highest levels seen since 2019. Pre-COVID, around 40% of families had committed to putting money aside for a rainy day, which had decreased to 32% by 2022, before climbing to 51% this year.

Commenting on the findings, Jonathan Daly, Head of Life Retail Distribution and Propositions at Zurich Life Assurance plc said: “It is encouraging now to see the rise in the number of families planning to start saving to plan for the future. In terms of saving for your child’s education, planning ahead and opening a savings account when children are young will help you to manage education costs before they become a significant financial burden.”  

The research also found that secondary school parents estimate the cost of second level education at €2,531 per annum and paid an average of €3,931 on third level fees

For families that are planning on sending a child to third level education, the average annual cost of student accommodation was €10,077 in 2022.

The Cost of Education survey provides insights into how much parents are spending, what factors are influencing how much they save and how they plan to save for the cost of their children’s second and third level education.

The research has found that:

  • 56% of parents said they have family savings in place that are used to reduce the financial strain of inflation, up 2% on 2022.
  • More than half (51%) of parents now say they are more likely to create a family savings fund to protect against the impact of potential future inflation rises, a big increase of 19% from last year.
  • The majority (68%) of students studying at third level education currently live at home, up 10% compared with 2022.
  • Parents of third level students paid on average €3,931 on third level fees in this year’s survey.
  • The average annual cost of third level student accommodation was €10,077, while rented accommodation had an average annual cost of €5,179.
  • Parents estimated the total cost of secondary school education at €3,581.
  • 28% of parents have taken out a loan to help pay for their children’s secondary school costs.

A great education is the best possible start in life and for most parents ensuring they can provide for their children’s education, from primary school right through to third level, is crucially important.

Our Cost of Secondary School Calculator and our Cost of College Education Calculator are useful tools that help you work out how much you need to save to cover the costs of putting children through secondary school and college.

With a Zurich Regular Savings plan you can gradually build up the funds necessary to support your children’s education and future.

*Source: Zurich Cost of Education Survey, 2023

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