September marks the ëback to schoolí season with parents feeling the pressure to spend more on school basics. Those looking to start university this month also face financial hardship as parents struggle to save.
New research has found that the average cost of a childís school bag alone is £212. A shocking one in ten school children will carry an iPad, netbook or e-reader.
MORE TH>N found that 65% of 11 to 14 year olds carry a mobile phone to school with them with each handset costing an average £95. Parents will spend on average £112 a year replacing lost stationary let alone uniform and school activities.
The cost of school is increasing as many households struggle to prepare for the winter months financially. Monthly incomes have fallen by 2% between May and August 2011.
Some children will suffer as a result of families having less disposable income as 31% of parents are considering cutting back on extra curricular activities to save money.
High levels of inflation have left families feeling the pinch as the new school season starts. Yet, 56% of parents feel under pressure to spend more than last year.
The Cost of a Child Study from LV= found that the nations parents are set to spend a total of £736 million on ëback to schoolí basics. This is £27 million more than last year.
The average spend on a secondary school child is £81 compared to £67 for primary school children and £63 for infants.
ìIt is important that parents try and look beyond the short term and ensure they have suitable budgets and long term financial plans in place,î said Mark Jones from LV=.
“Ensuring your family’s financial security against unexpected job loss, accident, or illness is more important than ever in the current climate. Protection doesn’t have to be expensive, and in many cases it could turn out to be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.”
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Itís not just school children who may miss out because of financial hardship. New university students face high debts with student loans and tuition fees. Next year universities across the country can raise their fees by up to £9,000 a year compared to the current £3,375.
Many A level students scrabbled for university places this year in order to avoid paying higher fees, which come into affect in September 2012.
For 2012 undergraduate students could see debt soar as high as £60,000.
Forward planning parents have started to make regular savings to help ease the cost of rising tuition fees. Nearly a quarter (23%) are saving cash they receive from special occasions and 27% are saving between £50 and £100 a month to cover their childís university education.
Over half of parents who have longer to save for higher education are putting aside money now for their 0- 9 year olds. Yet only 30% of parents with 14-17 year olds are doing the same.
However saving comes at a price as parents looking for extreme methods to finance their childís higher education. Some have rented a room in their house to provide an extra income while others have taken on a second job and in some cases even remortgaged their home.