Qld families struggling with back-to-school costs


RACQ Bank has revealed one third of Queensland parents will send their children to school without at least one item on their back-to-school list, due to the costs.

Back to school backpack on desk

Research* released by RACQ Bank also showed mums and dads spent on average more than $4,000 per child each year on fees and school supplies, an increase of $250 compared with 2021 and almost $500 more than in 2020.

RACQ spokesperson Graham Metcalf said annual costs for school fees and supplies ranged from $3,148 for prep students, $2,569 for those at primary school, and $5,360 for high school students.

“Finding more than $4,000 to spend on education is tough on a family’s budget, particularly if you have a number of school-aged children,” Mr Metcalf said.

“Our research shows 63 percent of parents find the costs more difficult to afford because they come straight after Christmas.

“As a result, many Queenslanders are putting back-to-school purchases on credit or making tough decisions on which supplies their children can go without.”

Mr Metcalf suggested families started to put away small amounts into savings now, to help ease the financial burden next year.

“Take a look at your budget and develop a savings plan for those expenses you have coming up like car registration, Christmas and next year’s back-to-school costs,” he said.

“You can set up separate accounts for things like school fees, bills, travel, coffee and groceries.

“Check out mid-year sales for deals on some of the expensive pieces like laptops. Many shops still let you lay-by, which means you can pay it off during the year and avoid the headache of shopping for these items in January when everyone else is.

“Also, check out second hand uniform stores to grab a bargain and consider selling uniforms that no longer fit to offset the costs of new ones.”


*RACQ survey of 465 Queensland residents conducted 7-12 January 2022. 68 percent of respondents had children at public schools, 28 percent at private schools, four percent were home schooling.

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The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.