Going back to school - the real cost of education

Banes and Boons of Going Back to School

Every parent knows how having a child can change you; that little bundle completely changes your priorities and outlook on life – nothing is more important, more precious, or more loved than your child. But oh my goodness, are they expensive?!

According to the experts, the average costs of raising a child is estimated at about R1 000 000 before they even start grade one – that’s six zeroes for a six year old. Furthermore, research indicates that education inflation increases annually by 8% to 9%, which is about 3% higher than consumer price inflation. So, a savings or investment product selected towards your childs’ education should aim to outperform inflation by more than 3% over a medium to long term period.

It is estimated that three years of university education will currently cost R300 000 to R350 000 for tuition, books, accommodation, and board examinations and other expenses such as a computer, cell phone and internet access. I bet you didn’t even realise you make that much money. Well, if you have a child, you don’t have that much money anymore. But if you had to start configuring a budget, you’ll note that, excluding inflation, your child costs you approximately R90 000 every year. Admittedly, that cost has to take lifestyle factors into consideration, but it’s a barebones figure, it doesn’t include vacations, birthday parties, or private schools. It begs the questions, what provisions have you made for your delightful little rug rat’s education? More importantly, what happens if you’re no longer there to foot these bills?

Thankfully, you have options. Take Liberty’s Educator Benefit programme for instance – if you’re insured with the life-agency, you can adopt a policy that will cover expenses for primary school, high school, and even take your pick of Ivy League universities across the globe. The Progressive Educator policy even affords you monies to pay for textbooks and boarding, not just tuition.

That’s just one perspective though, I’d like to know if you have anything to add, particularly around the costs of education and how you’ve gone about maximising your back to school budget year on year.

You can find out more about Liberty’s Educator Benefit on www.liberty.co.za, or you can ask your financial adviser as soon as you’re done reading this, they’ll be able to tell you more about it.

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  1. You know Lynne, I’d never really given this much thought – I knew which school I wanted my baby to go to and that was that. She started this year in Gr 00 in her school that she will be in hopefully until she matriculates. Let me just say after applying and actually being accepted and the non returnable deposit, and, and, and!!!!! I definitely started to panic haha
    I think every parent needs to look at this from the day baby is born …. you always think you have so much time, then you blink and ITS TIME!!

    • Tamara I know exactly what you mean! My daughter just started Grade R and it is so expensive. There are the school fees, the book fees, the deposit for Grade 1, lunch boxes, cooldrink boxes, then there are the outings and the constant requests for cupcakes for cake sales and various other things too. My daughter doesn’t even need a school uniform yet and it is so expensive already!

      I think education costs need to be considered possibly before you even fall pregnant LOL. I can’t even begin to imagine how much we will have spent by the time my kids have finished with all their education, including possibly university or college.

  2. I hear you Lynne, my daughter is only in Grade 00 and we had to get uniforms, stationery and all the extras you mentioned. Then in Grade one her fees will almost double and she will have to wear a completely different uniform…. i want to run and hide lol
    I think its better not to even try to figure out how much we will actually spend on education …. i think i might hyperventilate 🙂

    • Oh wow, so one year in one uniform and then it changes? I wonder how much of a money making scheme that is? Apparently soon schools will not be able to have a monopoly on supplying uniforms. Each school will have to have 3 suppliers. Like Curro schools, you are currently only allowed to buy from them which means they can set whatever prices they like.

      • well this hear she wears shorts, white takkies and then a light blue golf shirt, next year the shirt has to change to white and the year after is proper school uniform, i agree with you completely. This year there were a few places i got her uniforms from but as for Grade 1, I’m not sure how that will work.

      • Year not hear LOL

      • Yes let’s hope it isn’t too pricey right? I am having my teacher parent meeting next week for my daughter’s Grade R class and while she can wear any clothes to school I have a suspicion she must buy a school uniform to wear at certain times. Let’s hope not! Because then it is primary school next year and a new uniform.

      • It seems endless i know 🙁
        Good Luck for next week!

  3. Sjoh guys.
    Havent givin this any thought.
    Will have to start saving now!!!

    • Marisca the expenses are going through the roof with our two kids and they haven’t even started primary school – they are both just in play school.

  4. I know in Pretoria the creche is R2000 must be more now cause i did research in 2013 just after i got married.
    But where i stay now in the Free State its R1100.
    Still alot cause it doesnt end there. You have to send diapers milk wipes bum cream and that stays at school.
    Then you must have all those things for home too.
    And when she gets older they go on all kinds of trips and i have to buy a shirt with the daycare logo on…
    It never ends i can only imagine.
    For now she will be staying with me but i will definitely start saving for next year!!!

    • Marisca my daughter is in Grade R and it costs us over R1600 a month, that is not including all the extras and she is not in aftercare, she comes home in the afternoons since I work from home! My son’s fees are about R1500 and he is just 3. Granted it is a private school but it is so lovely there.

      Now I have to buy a uniform for my daughter too for the first time… eek!

  5. Imagine how much money we could’ve saved if we studied teaching and gave our kids home schooling.

  6. Wow
    I am so scared now lol
    With being a single mom and earning the small income I do with no grant etc I dont know that I would ever be able to send my son further than Matric
    Which is scary and hard especially with inflation

    • Lynne Huysamen

      @nics82 I do believe that while studying can be really useful there are so many more ways to earn money and to start your own business now than there was before. There are so many free courses online and while you don’t get a degree or diploma for it there is loads you can do with knowledge! Keep that in mind 🙂

      PS I learned everything I know online, some things I paid for, some were free but nothing was expensive!

  7. Oh my goodness now I can see how education is expensive my son it’s only in grade r now and every months it’s a money talk. Next year he will be starting grade 1 it’s only going to be more and more expensive

  8. Guys my boy is 8 months reading this and its scary its important to look at this schools are very expensive my brothers little girl is in crech now and when i hear they musy pay for pajama day easter eggs or some kind of acticity and its like everytime R60/R80 depends on but adding it up its alot some weeks they have activity twice a week that without healthy lunch box to school neat clothing bags and school fees and kids that age loose their shoes or like my brother little one lost her frozen winter cap she was in a state cry cry going to school following day.

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