Back to school: School supplies, uniforms, tuition to cost Australian parents $5000 in 2024

Aussie parents will be forced to fork out thousands of dollars as their kids head back to school later this month, new research has revealed.

Australian households are expected to spend a staggering $3.5 billion nationwide on school supplies alone for the year head, according to analysis by price comparison website Finder.

Stocking up on supplies such as new textbooks, stationery and uniforms will cost parents, on average, $684 for primary school kids and $1132 for high schoolers.

That jumps to $2547 for each primary school child and $4793 for secondary students — a national spend of $12.9 billion — when other costs such as tuition fees and school camps are factored in.

Tuition fees serve the biggest financial blow, costing parents anywhere between, on average, $158 for a public primary school in the NT and $12,860 for a private secondary school in NSW.

Last year, separate Finder research found 10 per cent of Aussie parents had switched their kids from a private to a public school to cope with rising costs, while another 17 per cent were considering the switch.

School supplies were the second highest spend, with parents set to fork out $684 on average for primary school students and $1132 for secondary students.

Uniforms were the priciest single item, costing $245 for primary students and $469 for secondary students each year. Electronic devices came in second place at $244 and $300, respectively.

Other hidden costs include transport to and from school, costing $530 for primary school students and $632 for high schoolers, school camps, costing $323 and $458 respectively, and sports equipment, $179 and $250 respectively.

How to save on the back to school shop

Finder had some advice for parents looking to trim their back to school budgets.

It recommended parents “buy quality where it counts”, with the research accounting for items like lunch boxes, school bags and water bottles, which it assumed weren’t bought new every year.

“You can extend the lifespan of backpacks by shopping around for something durable that will withstand years of being tossed around,” Finder said.

“On the other hand, stick to budget-friendly brands when it comes to losable items like lunch boxes and water bottles. There’s no point in buying something fancy if you’re going to have to replace it 6 months later.”

The comparison website also recommended buying a few sizes up to suit kids as they grow and planning ahead to take advantage of sales.

Sarah Megginson, personal finance expert at Finder, said the rising cost of living was causing stress for Aussie families.

“For some, the cost of paying for school expenses right now will be too much to bear,” she said.

“It’s becoming tough for parents to provide their kids with all the essentials.

“From uniforms to tech to sports equipment, stationery — the checklist can seem never ending.”

Leave a Comment