Nearly half of all parents cited that the past school year has been very difficult, with two-thirds of parents earning less than last year.
Almost half of parents struggling financially have made some alterations to their childcare, including after school care arrangements, while pocket money and extra curricular activities have been reduced or stopped by one-third of parents as they try to cope with the cost of putting their children through education. However, it is perhaps comforting that three-quarters of parents believe that their children understand the financial difficulties they are facing.
Bank of Ireland Life highlights the need for parents, now more than ever, to plan ahead to make sure they can fund the costs associated with educating their children. The company estimates that the current costs associated with educating a child to third level in excess of €60,000.
Feedback received from the parents surveyed supports this with three-quarters of parents wishing that they had started saving for their children’s education much earlier. 72% of parents believe that the best time to start saving for their children’s education is from the time they are born, using the monthly child benefit of €140, if possible.
Highlights from the research include:
|Expenditure||€ Primary*||€ Secondary*||€ Third level**|
|Study Books and Materials||163||333||630|
|Uniform (Clothes for 3rd level), Sports gear and Shoes||193||260||378|
|Lunch / Food||287||376||1,521|
|Public Education Registration Fees / Voluntary Contribution||102||184||2,284*|
|Computer and Internet access|
(Average Laptop €499;
€180 Broadband Value Pack over nine months)
|180||180||180 + once off cost of laptop|
|Rent (outside of Dublin)||-||-||2,583|
|Utility Bills (Electricity/Gas/Bins/Phone)||-||-||554|
|Pocket Money (over nine months)||161||424||991*|
|Years in Education||8||6||4|
Commenting on the research results, Brian Grimes, Head of Customer Propositions, Bank of Ireland Life said: “Children’s education, in particular university education is one of those large expenses in life can be very difficult to manage. The research shows the strain that these expenses can cause and the increased difficulties when university years coincide with downturns like the one we are experiencing at the moment.
“It is worthwhile sitting down with a financial advisor to see how events like this can be planned for. As a number of parents identified, planning for education costs from the earliest possible age can make these expenses far more digestible and ensure that the plans are less dependent on the economy. We regularly sit down with customers who have been prompted to put something in place by the birth of a child or perhaps the start of primary or secondary school.. We help them identify how much they should put away and where the best home for that money is.”
Annemarie Wade of Schooldays.ie observed that: “Our second hand books section is the busiest section on our website during the summer months. Thousands of second hand books have been added to the site by parents who are taking the opportunity to raise funds through the sale of their children’s old books to help fund the purchase of books for the new school year. Our general Back-to-School section on the site is also exceptionally busy with parents reviewing our new information on school book offers from a range of providers around the country and many availing of our new facility to sell-on second hand school uniforms”
|Examples of ways to Save for your Children's Education||Monthly Savings Amount||Term of Investment||Projected Fund value at end of term|
|Save the monthly Child Benefit for 3rd level costs||€140||From birth for 18 years||€40,141|
|Save the monthly Child Benefit for 2nd level costs||€140||From birth for 12 years||€24,224|
Warning: These figures are estimates only. They are not a reliable guide to the future performance of this investment.
Notes to Editors:
Research was conducted by Schooldays.ie on behalf of Bank of Ireland Life in May and June 2011, with a nationwide sample of over 1,296 parents with children in primary, secondary and third level education.
The State Child Benefit monthly rate for children under 18 for the first child is €140 as at July 2011.
Schooldays.ie is Ireland's online resource for parents and teachers. Established in 2006, the website provides comprehensive information for parents on schools, parental resources, afterschool activities, mid-term camps and family milestones such as communions, confirmations, debs and birthdays. Parents can also compare new school book offers and source second-hand schools books through the website and sell secondhand school uniforms. Teachers can source information on school tours, roadshows, competitions and school year events.
SmartChoice Education is Bank of Ireland Life's most popular product solution for parents looking to save for their children's future.
SmartChoice Education is a regular savings plan linked to the stockmarket that includes an innovative 25% loyalty bonus for those who commit to saving regularly for a period of seven years. In the first year of the plan, Bank of Ireland Life invests an amount equal to 25% of the customer's initial annual contribution. Provided regular contributions are maintained for a period of seven years, the investment value of the bonus will be allocated on the seventh policy anniversary.
SmartChoice Education requires a minimum payment of €100 per month and has a wide range of investment funds for customers to choose from. SmartChoice Education has a minimum investment period of seven years. Terms and conditions apply. Life Assurance tax applies. Fees and charges apply.
For further information contact:
Public Relations Manager
Bank of Ireland Life
Tel: 01 6172586
Mob: 086 856 2929
Media Relations Manager
Bank of Ireland
Mob: 087 246 0358
New Ireland Assurance Company plc trading as Bank of Ireland Life is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and is a member of Bank of Ireland Group.