As the summer holidays draw to a close, primary and secondary school students around Ireland have returned to the classroom this week, with third level students due back in the coming weeks. Back to school shopping lists have been sorted, college accommodation paid for and many families are now feeling the pinch as the expenses involved continue to come fast and furious.
Every parent wants to give their child(ren) the best opportunities in life and very often, a good education is a top priority. However, as we know this comes at a cost and most often it will be a lot more costly than you might realise. According to a recent ‘Cost of Education Survey 2018’ carried out by Zurich the average costs of educating a child in Ireland are as follows:
- Primary €830 p/a (8 years = €6,640)
- Secondary €1,490 p/a (6 years = €7,218. Private schools triple that)
- Third Level €9,011 p/a (4 years = €36,044 – excludes masters)
Based on the figures above, the average cost of putting ONE child through the education system in Ireland is just shy of €50,000. If you have more than one child then it is going to put even more pressure on your purse. Most parents don’t realise the costs involved until the bills start hitting and by that stage it can be too late, leaving many with no option but to borrow to fund the expenses. According to the ‘Cost of Education Survey 2018’ carried out by Zurich, 52% of parents of third level students went into debt to cover the cost of college, either going into an overdraft or taking out a loan. This obviously generates an interest bill, adding further to the overall cost.
While we have no control over the cost of education, a little bit of forward planning can make life an awful lot easier. Parents should endeavor to put a savings plan in place so that they will have at least some funding at hand to meet the ever-rising cost of education. By taking a proactive rather than a reactive approach to the cost of education it will ease the financial pressure down the line. Even if you saved the government child benefit of €140 p/m it would go a long way towards putting your child through the education system.
While saving in a simple savings account in your bank is better than nothing, the interest rates being offered at present are minimal. All of the leading financial institutions offer a range of ‘Savings’ products that offer the possibility of higher returns that will at least keep ahead of inflation and such a plan is by far the most attractive option for your child’s education. No two cases are the same so take independent advice on which type of plan suits your particular circumstances.
To review your financial situation and put a savings plan in place talk to an experienced financial advisor. You can call McGuire Liston Financial Services 064 663225 (Killarney) or 066 7106202 (Tralee) to organise a FREE consultation.