Research by easyMoney has shown that parents are facing far higher back to school costs this year, as everything from pens to clothing, packed lunches and school dinners have increased when compared to this time last year.
easyMoney analysed the average cost of various items associated with the return of the school year and how these costs have changed on an annual basis.
The research shows that all but a few items have seen a cost increase year on year.
The cost of a ballpoint pen is up 9% from 53 pence to 58 pence this year.
Uniform costs have also climbed by an average of 5%. The average cost of a pair of school trousers is up 6%, now costing £10.64. A pair of socks has increased by 2%, while childrens trainers have seen the most significant increase, increasing by 22% – costing £6.35 more on average today versus last year.
School dinners are also more expensive than they were last year. The average cost for a primary school meal is up 4% (9 pence), while secondary school dinners have climbed by 3% (8 pence).
But for those planning on saving some pennies with a packed lunch, the cost of living crisis has thrown a spanner in the works. On average, the price of basic back to school items such as cereal, sandwiches, crisps and fruit have increased by an average of 13%.
Items such as cheese (+23%), bananas (+22%), crisps (19%) and bread (15%) have seen the most notable hike in costs on an annual basis.
The average cost of cereal is up 8%, while the cost of milk has increased by 4%.
The only item that hasn’t increased in cost is spreadable butter, which is marginally more affordable this term time (-1%).
Jason Ferrando, CEO of easyMoney said, “Many parents will have welcomed the end of the summer holiday and the additional costs and complications it poses.
However, ahead of the new school year they will also have shelled out for stationary, uniforms, PE kits and more, with this additional spend putting a further strain on their disposable household income.
Now that the new school year is underway, this financial strain is likely to continue for those who don’t benefit from free school meals.It’s the unfortunate reality of putting your children through education and one that needs to be considered well in advance of their first day.
The only upside to the current climate is that interest rates are favourable for those in a position to save for the future and looking to maximise your nest egg now could help pay for the cost of schooling further down the line.
In this respect, it certainly pays to consider utilising your tax-free ISA allowance, as doing so will allow you to access products offering far superior interest rate returns when compared to the traditional savings account.”