How to make school fees more affordable

School fees are probably the largest outgoing after your mortgage or rent. If you have three kids, it is not unheard of for the final bill to start pushing the £1million mark. And there’s no doubt that school fees will become a topical discussion in the upcoming election. Not something though that I will choose to debate here.

The perception is that parents that send their children to a fee paying school are wealthy. Some are. Some benefit from having had a family trust for grandchildren set up (now that’s legacy planning and I’m happy to discuss the pros and cons of this idea). Some parents again are prepared to work numerous jobs – I know of two parents who were baggage handlers that saved to send their child to a well-known fee paying school.

Plan early and regularly set an affordable amount aside

Whatever your financial situation, the common objective here is to try and provide your children with a better education. But there are no guarantees on the outcome. As parents you can spend hundreds of thousands of pounds (or more!) on this education and only in time will you know whether or not it has all been worth it.

If it is your decision to send your children to a fee paying school, plan for this as early as possible. Set aside an affordable amount regularly (little and often tends to win the race) and invest this money in a portfolio that is conducive to your risk profile. Over a 10 year period or so you should benefit from compound interest as well as hopefully positive capital returns.

Whatever the bill, whatever the capital sum, it will feel a lot better to know that you have made this plan at the earlier stages, rather than funding these school fees out of income and feeling the pressure.