Dublin parents forced to deny their children back-to-school items
2017-08-15 09:24:30 -

One in four parents say they will have to deny their children school essentials this fall, according to a survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions.


The average back-to-school spend continues to increase and has now reached €1,209 per child – up from €1,185 last year.


Almost three-quarters of parents see this back-to-school spend as a financial burden, despite a nine-percent drop in the numbers getting into debt.


According to the nationwide survey, parents continue to struggle with the back-to-school spend, with 20 per cent of primary school parents and 31 per cent of secondary school parents saying they will be forced to deny their children school items.


Of those who anticipate having to refuse their children school basics, 38 per cent cannot afford new school shoes, 67 per cent cannot afford extracurricular activities, 36 per cent cannot afford school trips and 36 per cent cannot afford new gym gear.


A third of Dublin parents say they will get into debt funding the back-to-school spend, just behind Munster parents at 34 per cent. Dublin also had the highest number of parents in the country (11%) saying they would consider a moneylender to help cope with costs as well.


Two-thirds of parents also say they buy foreign school products over Irish produced goods if it means saving, and 58 per cent say they shop online. Most online shoppers do so to save money, with 64 per cent saying it provides better deals and 58 per cent saying it is more convenient.


“It’s clear that the back to school spend is still so much of a financial burden on parents that they are forced to deny their children basic items as well as sacrifice spending on family holidays and even food,” said Emmet Oliver, head of marketing and communications with the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU).


“We would also urge parents to set a budget for the back to school spend, and if they need assistance with this to also contact their local credit union for guidance,” Oliver added. “Planning and budgeting ahead for a yearly spend such as back to school can go a long way to helping you spend within your means, avoid financial stress and ensure that you don’t get into unnecessary debt.”

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