School starts again soon, and so do the expenses. How do you prevent an education budget blow-out?

HOME schooling! The perfect solution.

And it’s not just cheap. The other cool advantages include your child will always be top of the class, it’s okay to take them on holidays when it suits you and you can issue grades as a form of punishment/reward.

The tin lids can also learn about the “real word” by helping you with your own home-based business!

Disadvantages? It’s hard enough being parents to the little brats. The students will learn all the stupid, irrelevant stuff in your brain. You will have to be their playmate at lunchtime. The lure of “TV-based education” will be strong.

As a teacher, I make a fine financial adviser. So I’ll leave the schooling to the professionals (whom I hugely admire).

Gen X’s kids are largely spread across primary and secondary.

The biggest cost is actually your choice, which is the school fees itself. But private school education is a choice – one that Australians are increasingly aspiring to.

Regardless of private or government schools, parents are also hit with the cost of uniforms, before and after-school care, technology costs, among others.

One tax-effective way to save tax-effectively for your child’s education is through “education savings plans” (ESPs).

ESPs are taxed at the company tax rate of 30 per cent, so can be a particularly effective savings tool for higher-income earning families. Earnings, within defined rules, can be withdrawn tax-free if used for education purposes. Do solid research or seek professional advice to make sure you are aware of the limitations and the potential tax implications for early withdrawal.

Bruce Brammall is the author of Debt Man Walking ( and principal adviser with Castellan Financial Consulting.