Since the 1950s, education has been a driving force behind Ireland’s economic and social progress. Our highly educated workforce has contributed to our economic growth, attracting international businesses and ensuring Ireland remains competitive on a global scale.

However, the cost of education can add up to a significant amount. Many of our clients have plans in place to cover not just the fees, but the associated costs that crop up along the way! 

According to ‘Zurich’s Cost of Education Survey,’ over 40% of parents of third level students in Ireland fell into debt to cover the cost of college. A Savings Plan can help to reduce this unnecessary burden.

The Price of Knowledge: Understanding the Costs

The true cost of education in Ireland goes beyond tuition fees. Here’s a breakdown of the expenses you might need to budget for:

  • Fees: Public universities in Ireland charge varying tuition fees depending on the program chosen. Fees typically range from €3,000 to €5,000 per year. Private colleges can be considerably more expensive, with annual fees exceeding €10,000.
  • Accommodation Costs: Living on campus or renting an apartment near the university can be a significant expense. On-campus accommodation averages €7,000 per year, while renting privately can vary depending on location and amenities.
  • Course Materials and Supplies: Textbooks, lab fees, and other course-specific materials can add up quickly. Budget around €1,000 to €2,000 annually for these expenses.
  • Living Expenses: Food, transportation, and everyday necessities add to the overall cost. This can range from €5,000 to €8,000 per year depending on your child’s lifestyle and location.

The figures above just provide a starting point. The total cost will vary depending on your child’s chosen course, university location, and lifestyle choices. However, it emphasises the importance of starting to save early for their education.

Strategies for Saving

Fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to accumulate a significant sum for your child’s education:

  • Start Saving Early: The power of compound interest cannot be overstated. Similar to pensions, if you can save just a small amount early on, this will significantly benefit your child in the long run.
  • Regular Savings: Set up a regular savings plan, even if it’s just a small monthly deposit. Consistency is key, and a disciplined approach will build a robust education fund over time.
  • Tax-Efficient Options: Maximise the Gift Tax saving by assigning the plan to your child, thus making full use of the annual Gift Tax exemption limit of €3,000 from any individual (€6,000 from a married couple).
  • Review Your Budget: Take a close look at your household expenses and identify areas where you can cut back. Even a modest reduction in spending can free up additional funds to allocate towards your child’s education.
  • Consider All Sources: Factor in potential future income, scholarships, or grants to get a more realistic picture of the educational funding gap.

Beyond the Numbers: Your Child and Building a Savings Mindset

While saving for your child’s education is crucial, fostering a conversation about financial responsibility is equally important. Here’s how to involve your child in the process:

  • Open Communication: Start conversations about the cost of education early on. Explain the importance of saving and involve them in discussing saving goals and strategies.
  • Setting SMART Goals: Work with your child to set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals for saving. This can motivate them and give them a sense of ownership over the process.
  • Part-Time Work: Encourage your child to consider part-time jobs as they get older. This allows them to contribute towards their education while developing valuable work experience.
  • Scholarship Opportunities: Research scholarship opportunities and encourage your child to apply for scholarships that fit their academic profile.

Investing in Your Child’s Future

Education is an investment in your child’s future. By starting early, incorporating smart saving strategies, and fostering a savings mindset, you can help them achieve their academic goals without facing a crippling financial burden. Remember, education is not just about the cost; it’s about empowering your child to reach their full potential.


Here to help you save for today, tomorrow and for the unexpected.

At Lynx Financial Services, our team of experienced financial advisors are dedicated to helping you achieve your financial goals. We understand that everyone’s circumstances are unique, and we take a personalised approach to financial planning. 

We’ll work with you to assess your needs, risk tolerance, and investment goals, and develop a tailored plan to secure your financial future. Let us help you navigate the complexities of financial planning and make informed decisions about your retirement income. No jargon, no hidden fees, just plain talking, strategic financial advice.


Additional Resources:

The Higher Education Savings Plan (HESP):