Everybody tells you that having kids is expensive, the cost of clothes, nappies and food really add up. But what about sending them to school?

Education costs don’t get much brain space when you’re spinning out over cribs and car seats for a newborn. But according to the latest ASG Planning for Education Index, putting a child through primary and secondary school could cost almost $500,000 for bubs born in 2018.

Yes, that does mean if you have three kids to put through school, it may just sting you nearly $1.5 million, which is likely more than your home is worth!

The cost estimates are based on Australia-wide survey of 13,500 parents. ASG asked parents to estimate their kids’ education costs, which include preschool, primary and secondary schools in Australia.

South Australia tops for cheap school fees

Unsurprisingly, Sydney is the most expensive city for private schools, at an average of nearly $550,000, with Melbourne and Hobart close behind.

Brisbane is the cheapest city to put the kids through private school, but if you’re looking to save, head to South Australia. The state’s regional private school is estimated to be the most affordable in Australia at just over $250,000.

Of course splashing this amount of cash will get you a private school education, but don’t be fooled into thinking that public school is a free option either.

According to the report, a government education will still cost you over $66,000. What’s more, a faith-based education (that’s any religious school, including Catholic) will cost nearly $250,000 for each kid – might as well head to SA for that!

Still paying to go public

Melbourne topped the charts as the most expensive city to send your kids to public school, followed by Sydney and then Adelaide in third place. Although the SA capital was behind the estimated average at just over $60,000.

Tasmanian cities were estimated to be the cheapest place for a government education, beating even regional Western Australia, which came in at $44,000. Although that still averages out at over $3,600 a year!

Fees go up and up

ASG Chief Operating Officer, Bruce Hawkins, says the cost of education has been going up and up over the past 10 years. This is even though (surprise, surprise) we’re not getting paid that much more.

“This means that education costs are demanding a far greater share of the family wallet than in the past, placing more burden on the average family, already challenged by the rising cost of living.” he says.

The good news is these costs include the extras that come with sending kids to school, like sports and music. And equipment like computers (yep, it’s not just paper and pens now!), travel expenses, uniforms and school excursions too.

So if you’re trying to decide between the flashy stroller and the cheaper one, maybe save your money. Because it’s never too early to start saving for school!

If your kiddos are already at school and about to head back, then take a look at how you can save some cash right now with our back to school budget cheats.

Author

Originally from the UK, but now very much at home on the sunny NSW Central Coast, Sarah is mum to 18-month-old Freddy. When she's not writing, you'll find her at the beach, chasing Freddy at high speed, or drinking tea and eating cake whilst thinking about going to the gym.

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