Spending on back-to-school costs will burn a significant hole in parents’ pockets, new research reveals. Finder crunched the numbers on school expenses in 2024 and found that school supplies alone are expected to set families back an eye-watering $3.5 billion for the year ahead.
A new set of school supplies – including textbooks, stationery and a uniform – will cost parents on average $684 for Primary school children and $1132 for Secondary students.
When other costs – such as tuition fees, camps, excursions, technology, sporting equipment and transport costs – are factored in, this skyrockets to a national spend of $12.9 billion.
That’s $2547 for each Primary school child and $4793 for a Secondary student, on average.
Finder personal finance expert and mother-of-three Sarah Megginson says the back-to-school costs are staggering.
“The soaring cost of living is causing genuine stress for many Aussie families,” she says.
“For some, the cost of paying for school expenses right now will be too much to bear.
“It’s becoming tough for parents to provide their kids with all the essentials.
“From uniforms to tech to sports equipment, stationary – the checklist can seem never-ending.”
School tuition and supplies can add up quickly.
But there are plenty of other things parents will spend money on this year.
Ms Megginson says families can cut down on back-to-school costs in a few clever ways.
“Re-use whatever you can from previous years,” she says. “Your kids don’t always need to start school with brand-new supplies.”
Ms Megginson encourages families to think ahead to next year now.
“If you can set up a bank account now where you auto-transfer even just $5 a week, that will give you a few hundred dollars to help manage back to school expenses when the new school year rolls around in 2025,” she says.