I came across an article recently about the costs of our co called “free” education system in Ireland.  Barnardos ran a survey with parents of children of a school going age.  We all know the additional pressure to our finances that the “back to school” time of year brings, so why not budget now to avoid the stress.

The average cost for a child entering senior infants in 2012 was €355 covering the essentials which included clothing, footwear, school books, photocopying and voluntary contribution.  These costs increase dramatically for a student entering first year of secondary school to a staggering €770 on average.  The figures for primary level were slightly up on last years’ whilst the figures for secondary level were slightly down.  These costs did not include school bags, trainers and art supplies.  Nor did they include the additional costs for your child if they take part in extra-curricular activities.  The figures are based on the basic essential costs only.

Don’t leave it too long to start to save; you have just less than 6 months to budget towards the inevitable bill of 2Back To School”.  If you have a child due to start secondary school in September 2013, you will need to save about €30 per week for the next 6 months to insure you have enough money.  If you had started to budget last September this figure would equate to €15 per week or €64 per month.

If you don’t normally plan your expenses,  you should try to budget for at least one bill or expense so that you can experience how good it feels to have the money set aside for that bill when it is due to be paid. Once you realise how good it is, you can budget for more bills. If you don’t know how to budget, try using BillsManager.com to set out your budget and keep you on track.