Secondary school budgeting tips

The Zurich Cost of Education Survey 2021* highlights the cost of secondary school in Ireland and provides some handy tips and tools to manage your back to school budget.  

In order to gain a better understanding and help parents with back to school costs, Zurich conducted research to reveal the true cost of sending children to school. The Zurich Cost of Education Survey 2021* found the average cost of sending a child to secondary school each year is €2,214 up from €1,891 last year. When adding up all the figures, the total cost of eight years' primary school education certainly adds up and comes in at an estimated €13,284.

Our research report into the cost of sending a child to secondary school also found that parents often underestimate the actual cost.

In addition to the obvious expenses associated with sending children to school, there are other hidden costs. The research found that in secondary school, by far the biggest costs are grinds which cost on average €524 per year. There are other expenses too with lunches (€321), books (€290), transport (€252) and clothing (€202) all bringing the overall costs up.

Managing expenses

Parents can take some measures to reduce the cost of sending their children to secondary school, such as providing packed lunches, walking to school and availing of book rental schemes. Other solutions to minimising the financial burden of children's education is early planning and financial saving.

Parents can also use Zurich's Cost of Education Calculator to work out the annual and lifetime costs of sending children to secondary school.

Saving for a child’s future

Because the cost of education is high and increases over the years, it make sense to plan ahead, budget and save.

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

The table below illustrates just how much regular savings can grow with a Zurich LifeSave Savings Plus plan. For example, if you saved the Government child benefit of €140 per month for five years (as of July 2021) from when your child was born, by the time they started school you could have built up savings of €8,587 in time to fund this crucial stage in their education.

   Savings fund after five years starting primary school Savings fund after 12 years starting primary school 
Regular contributions of €140 per month*   €8,587  €21,689
 Lump sum of €10,000 and regular contributions of €140 per month*  €19,072  €33,292
 A gross investment return of 3.0% per annum is assumed for the 5 year savings fund and 3.4% per annum for the 12 year savings fund. We have assumed that on death, encashment, partial encashment or assignment of the policy or on each 8th policy anniversary, tax is deduced on the gains made at the current rate of taxation, being 41%. A government insurance levy (currently 1% as at June 2021 and may change in the future) applies to this policy. The contribution amounts above are inclusive of this levy.No surrender penalties apply. An annual management charge of 1.25% and an allocation rate of 101% apply. The information contained herein is based on Zurich Life's understanding of current Revenue practice as of July 2021 and may change in the future.

*Source: Zurich Cost of Education Survey 2021

About: Benchmark Tool

Use Zurich's Cost of Education benchmarking tool to see how education costs compare and pinpoint where savings could be made.

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