Sign up to get all the latest Careers and Education news delivered to you - - >

Cost-of-Living Pressures on Education Savings in Ireland

Share this post

Cost-of-Living Pressures on Education Savings in Ireland


Rise in the number of families planning to save in response to cost-of-living pressures

Zurich’s annual ‘Cost of Education’ survey shows families now more likely than last year to start a savings fund 

  • Plans to save for the future have increased to 51% of families (from 32% in 2022)
  • Secondary school parents estimate the cost of second level education at €2,531  per annum and paid an average of €3,931 on third level fees 
  • For families that are planning on sending a child to third level education, the average annual cost of student accommodation was €10,077 in 2022. 


AUGUST 2023: As cost-of-living pressures continue, savings rates appear to be making a steady recovery this year after savings and spending habits were impacted by COVID-19 and a sustained period of inflation. 

According to Zurich’s annual Cost of Education survey, conducted by iReach this May and June, 56% of families in Ireland already have savings in place that have acted as a shield against the cost-of-living pressures. This figure is slightly up on 2022 (54%). 

The good news is that plans to save are on the increase, with the highest levels seen since 2019. Pre-COVID, around 40% of families had committed to putting money aside for a rainy day, which had decreased to 32% by 2022, before climbing to 51 % this year. 

Commenting on the findings, Jonathan DalyHead of Life Retail Distribution and Propositions at Zurich Life Assurance plc said: “It is encouraging now to see the rise in the number of families planning to start saving to plan for the future. In terms of saving for your child’s education, planning ahead and opening a savings account when children are young will help you to manage education costs before they become a significant financial burden.”  


The Cost of Education survey provides insights into how much parents are spending, what factors are influencing how much they save and how they plan to save for the cost of their children’s second and third level education. 

The research has found that: 

  • 56% of parents said they have family savings in place that are used to reduce the financial strain of inflation, up 2% on 2022.
  • More than half (51%) of parents now say they are more likely to create a family savings fund to protect against the impact of potential future inflation rises, a big increase of 19% from last year.
  • The majority (68%) of students studying at third level education currently live at home, up 10% compared with 2022.
  • Parents of third level students paid on average €3,931 on third level fees in this year’s survey. 
  • The average annual cost of third level student accommodation was €10,077, while rented accommodation had an average annual cost of €5,179.
  • Parents estimated the total cost of secondary school education at €3,581.
  • 28% of parents have taken out a loan to help pay for their children’s secondary school costs.


Parents can use Zurich’s Cost of Secondary School and College Calculators to work out the estimated costs of sending their children to secondary school and college and to see how much they might need to save each month to meet these costs:

The calculators are also accessible via Digital Voice Assistants – see here for more:

About the research 

The annual Cost of Education in Ireland study was conducted by iReach Market Research on behalf of Zurich Life Assurance plc. The survey, which included a sample of 959 respondents, is nationally representative and was undertaken from 25th May to 9th June 2023. The annual Cost of Education in Ireland study has been carried out each year since 2017. See more about the 2023 Cost of Education Survey in Ireland.

Languages top
envelopemenu-circlecross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram