How much does going back to school cost and how to integrate it into the family budget

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Cope with school expenses of children can be a challenge for many families. And it is that the annual school expenses amount to an average of € 1937 per child, according to a survey by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU).

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But we are talking about averages and, depending on family circumstances, the September slope can be more or less steep. In fact, that figure can rise to € 6,123 per year among students in private schools.

What are the school fees at the beginning of the year?

Part of the “scare” on the school fees bill comes all at once. With the start of classes, you have to pay some fixed costs and perform certain investments for the whole year. According to the OCU survey, we found, among others, the following average payments:

School uniform School uniform

If it exists, it costs on average € 169.

Textbooks The textbooks

Although on average it means € 185, it increases as the children grow. In fact, the figure reaches € 230 in high school.

School supplies School supplies

What includes other books, such as reading books, can cost € 86.

Tuition fees Tuition fees and school insurance

They are around € 66.

Ampa school spending Annual fees such as AMPA or activity clubs

They can cost € 24

In summary, School expenses at the beginning of the course can amount to more than € 500 at once. Some of these expenses are unavoidable, but others can be reduced.

For example, books can be borrowed or given away from friends, older siblings … In other cases, some investments from other years may stretch a bit, such as a uniform that is still in good condition and does not need, at the moment, a size larger .

What school expenses are there each month?

Another category is that of recurring school expenses, which are repeated month by month or, in some cases, in quarterly installments. However, they usually depend on organizational decisions made at the beginning of the course.

The OCU survey collects the following:

School fees fees School fees for certain activities and services and voluntary contributions

They can add up to € 167 each month.

Extracurricular activities Extracurricular activities

Such as sports, music or languages, which can add € 68 per month.

Dining expenses Dining expenses

They go up to € 113 on average.

Breakfast school expense For breakfasts

If applicable, € 37 additional monthly.

Transportation school expenses The school route (or other transportation to get to the center)

You can add another € 55.

Organizing well is also key to saving on going back to school. In some cases, it is possible to access aid programs. However, the main thing is usually to try to share the expenses related to an activity. For example, multiple parents can take turns picking up and dropping children, sharing time and transportation costs.

What other school expenses can there be throughout the course?

You also have to create a ‘money box for contingencies’, since there are some expenses that arrive without a specific periodicity. For example, there may be an excursion, an item of clothing that is lost or damaged, a material necessary for an extracurricular activity …

What school expenses are deductible?

In general, these types of expenses will not be deductible on your income statement. At least not in the whole country. However, it is possible that you can benefit from a regional tax relief. It is convenient that you consult if your autonomous community can deduct school expenses.

How to integrate the cost of going back to school in the family budget

You have to act from three points:

Planning school expenses Good planning

That helps clarify objectives and generate a budget.

Help for school expenses Use options such as scholarships, grants, deductions

That allow you to have extra money.

Save school expenses Take full advantage of savings options

To adjust the budget to the maximum

Going back to school is an opportunity for both parents and children to learn a little more about personal finances. Overcoming the ‘September slope’ it is a good starting point to go further and avoid wasting resources. In addition, it is the way to ensure that children do not lack what they need for their education and growth.

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