Heritage Bank 2013 Back to School Spending Survey results released

Research shows 60% of primary school parents admit to feeling stressed in the lead up to the 2013 school year due to the costs associated with back to school items.

The Heritage Bank 2013 Back to School Spending Survey, released today, found the average primary school family spends around $600 in the lead up to the first bell of the New Year. And that was just on necessities such as shoes, books, uniforms and musical and sporting equipment. The results are presented in the attached infographic.

The survey found the highest costs came with the purchasing of school uniforms and shoes, with the majority of parents spending up to $200 on uniforms and $50 on shoes per child.

While most parents kept the cost of books under $200, some families forked out over $500 just for one child’s books for the year. Other big ticket items included shoes, uniforms, sporting and musical equipment, as well as other small costs like lunch boxes and name tags.

For stressed-out parents of primary school children these figures will come as no surprise.  Queensland parents spent the most per student, with the average family parting with $356 per child. South Australia was the second most expensive place to send a child back to school, with an average cost of $344 per child. 

Heritage Bank CEO Mr John Minz said Heritage conducted the Back to School Spending Survey to help parents plan ahead and work out what costs they’re likely to be faced with when school starts again in 2013.

“Understanding our customers is a major part of our People First culture,” Mr Minz said.

“We wanted to visualise what parents were spending on their kids’ back-to-school needs so they could get a better feel for what they’ll need to budget for,” he said.

“By asking parents what they typically spend and visualising the data, it’s a great way to help them start thinking about some of the costs that may not have been top of mind – everyone knows they have to buy books but some parents might be surprised to find the average cost of shoes for primary school children was up to $50 or more.

Mr Minz said parents can alleviate the stress associated with the back to school costs by having a savings plan in place.
“There are lots of great ways to save these days, from high-interest online savings accounts, to traditional term deposits – people should talk to their bank about the best way to get the most out of their savings and minimise the back to school stress,” he said.

“Often it’s a matter of just being more inventive with how you manage your money. For example, we have a ‘Christmas Club’ account which was originally created to help families save for the festive season, but it has actually proven quite popular with families facing back to school costs.
“Zero fee accounts like that where you put away a small amount of money each week and can only access that money between November and January are one of the best ways to save, especially if you don’t want to be tempted to dip into your funds throughout the year.

“If you put $10 into the account each week you will have at least $520 by the end of the year," he said.

“For an average family that is going to be a huge help when the back to school season hits."

See how much families spend on back-to-school costs here.

* Based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.