Parents are getting into debt to pay for their children’s back to school essentials, according to new research.
It’s not just new pencil cases that are in demand. Modern parents are under increasing pressure to buy their kids the latest hi-tech gadgets, with more than a quarter (26 per cent) admitting they feel under pressure to buy their child a smartphone, the survey by VoucherCodes.co.uk found.
Some lucky children will be the envy of all their friends, with one in ten parents prepared to spend more than £300 on an iPad for them. But the pressure to provide the best means a third of parents predict they will get themselves in to debt with these purchases.
[Related article: Family Meals for Under a Fiver]One of the reasons for this extortionate spending is because 40 per cent of parents are concerned about their child fitting in at school.
“Secondary school can be a particularly tough time for children, and parents naturally want to make sure their kids are happy and fit in with their peers,” said Duncan Jennings, co-founder of VoucherCodes.co.uk.
“Kitting kids out for school is an expensive business, but by shopping smartly parents can still afford to buy their children the latest must-have gadgets without breaking the bank.”Gadgets aside, another study found that parents spend on average £209.72 preparing their child for the start of the new school year.
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With the average family in Britain having two children, this means parents are spending around £419.44 each year - or £5,033 over a child’s 12 year education – on back to school gear.
And with the country still in a recession, parents across the UK are still feeling the pinch. Three quarters admit they’re worried about how they will afford the basics for their child in the new school year.
One in five parents even admitted sending their child to school in uniform too small as they couldn’t afford to buy a new one.
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“To help ease the burden of the new school year there are a few simple steps that can be taken,” said Amee Chande, MD, UK Retail and Direct at Staples, which commissioned the second study.
"Parents shouldn't feel they have to replace everything with something new, just because it's a new school year.”Share your money saving back to school tips with other parents below.