Big W's Annual 'Back to School Report' revealed the national average cost to get one child ready is $538, up 13% on last year. 

It's the most expensive in Victoria, where parents spend $608, while Western Australia is the cheapest at $506. 

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates on the market.

Provider

4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]
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  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance

High Interest Savings Account (< $250k)

  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance
010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]
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Savings Maximiser (<$100k)

    010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]
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    • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
    • No account fees
    • Easy access to your money

    Saver Account (<$250k)

    • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
    • No account fees
    • Easy access to your money
    4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]
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    • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking

    Savings Account (Amounts < $250k)

    • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
    05001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]
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    • Maximum Age - 24

    Goal Saver

    • Maximum Age - 24
    02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]
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    No monthly fees
    • Download the App to open your account
    • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
    • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
    No monthly fees

    Save Account

    • Download the App to open your account
    • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
    • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
    0200$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]
    More details
    • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
    • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
    • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings

    Bonus Saver Account (Amounts < $250k)

    • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
    • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
    • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings
    010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]
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    For customers aged 14-35 years
    For customers aged 14-35 years

    Future Saver Account ( < $50k)

      010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]
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      Boost Saver

        Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

        All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of February 27, 2024. View disclaimer.

        The report found the most important factors when shopping for back-to-school were affordability (54%), quality (43%), one-stop shop (37%), convenience (35%), and wide variety (33%). 

        Joel Gibson, author of 'Kill Bills!', said planning what to buy in advance would save parents money and stress, with early shoppers typically spending less.

        “Just as you would with any other big ticket item - like a holiday or a new computer, do your research, look around and compare brands and prices," Mr Gibson said.

        "You’ll be surprised at the savings that can be made by shopping early - both on your hip pocket as well as your mental load by ticking off your to-do list.”

        back2school1

        Source: Big W

        Back to school costs can often be harder to pay for given their proximity to Christmas and school holiday costs. 

        Mr Gibson urged families to consider budgeting for back to school early, rather than using buy now, pay later services like Afterpay.

        "For next year, I suggest you try a new service - it’s called ‘before pay’.

        "Here’s how it works: write ‘before pay’ on a large jar, stick $10 in it every week and by next January, you’ll have $520 and Back to School will be a breeze.”

        Big W found it may be better to leave the kids at home when shopping, as 65% of parents said they overspend on non-essential items due to nagging from their children. 

        “To curb unnecessary spending, consider teaming up with another parent and shop for both families whilst the other one holds down the fort," Mr Gibson advised. 

        Back to school online shopping was up 9% from 2019 to 2020, and Mr Gibson said this was a geat way to reduce costs and stick to your budget. 

        “A third of families are shopping online for back to school essentials which is a brilliant strategy for those wanting to stick to the essentials on the list.

        "I suggest doing some internet browsing with your kids first so they know what you’re planning to buy.

        "In store pick-up options are another great way to save on any delivery costs - you can also avoid the crowds.”

        Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash