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Families fork out £23k in extra costs throughout school years

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

MoneySuperMarket found extracurricular activities are the most expensive at £151.82 per child for every school year, followed closely by school trips at £151.72 and lunch at £148.93.

The report by the price comparison site spoke to 2,000 parents with children currently at school to uncover the biggest expenses during their education, excluding tuition fees.

For example, over 11 years parents will fork out £1,670 on extracurricular activities, £1,669 on school trips and £1,638 in lunch money.

The MoneySuperMarket report also found that 79 per cent of parents worry about financially supporting their children through school, resulting in 69 per cent of parents seeking financial help. Of those who struggled to pay for a school essential, a fifth (22 per cent) used a credit card, 14 per cent relied on their overdraft and 7 per cent took out a payday loan.

A further 88 per cent feel pressured to pay for unnecessarily expensive school items and more than a quarter (28 per cent) believe that financial pressure comes directly from the school.

Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Every parent wants the best for their children, so it’s easy to see how extra costs – such as extracurricular activities and school trips – can soon mount up, with 79 per cent of parents feeling anxious as a result.

“One way to help ease the worry is to plan ahead and create a budget that factors in all of the possible expenditures from our report. You can also look for ways to curb costs, like buying school uniforms from supermarkets, as these often offer great value ranges. Or if technology is required for school, such as iPads, you can look for second-hand deals.

“If you do need to borrow at any point, it’s worth looking at all your options, such as a 0 per cent interest-free credit card, or a current account incentive that provides cash rewards. If you’re considering a 0 per cent interest-free credit card, be sure to make at least the minimum repayment each month, otherwise you risk losing the 0 per cent deal. It’s also best to make sure you can clear the amount you owe before the 0 per cent deal comes to an end.”