Education is costly

BACK to school spending will have some Gympie parents squirming, with at least $1.1 billion expected to be spent nationally on school gear this month, a survey commissioned by Officeworks shows.

Apart from schools fees, uniforms and shoes top the list, with 57% of Queensland parents spending the majority of their back to school budget dressing their children; while parents say technology (9%) and text books (14%) take up the largest portion of funds.

The Officeworks' national back to school survey revealed parents will spend an average of $2500 per child on school fees during the 2012 school year, and an additional $400 per child on uniforms, stationery, text books and other educational necessities.

Officeworks' "back to school parenting expert" Jodie Benveniste says with school expenses sky rocketing, it helped to shop around and get value for money wherever possible.

"School fees are fixed. But parents can save on other items such as pre-loved uniforms and clever purchasing of stationery and technology," she said.

"Setting a budget and sticking to it, comparing prices and finding the best items to suit your child's needs, all help to manage back to school expenses and minimise the impact on the family budget."

While students and parents hit the aisles to gather back to school requirements this year, 37% of Queensland parents will opt to shop online for convenience and cost cutting.

"The convenience of online shopping and online services, such as school book list compilation and door-to-door delivery, means parents can get organised from the comfort of their own homes and with minimum fuss.

"With many parents time-poor, we expect the popularity of online back to school shopping will only increase," Jodie said.

In 2012, Queensland parents will take advantage of the government education tax rebate, especially when it comes to uniforms and shoes (35%), technological equipment (20%) and just under a quarter will use the extra money for stationery and textbooks.

Gympie Times

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