'Instead of spending time with my kids, I did more shifts at work' - mum on back-to-school costs
When Sinéad Crowther sat down to juggle back-to-school costs with all the other household expenses, something had to give.
So instead of taxing her car for a year, she went for a stop-gap, three-month option while its annual service is postponed until September.
Budgeting also meant abandoning plans to bring her four children on fun, educational summer trips to places like the Marble Arch Caves, Co Fermanagh.
As well as watching expenditure, the Co Meath pharmacy technician, who says it will cost about €2,250 to kit out her four children for school, put in extra shifts to boost the coffers.
While neither school seeks a contribution from parents, she also has to pay €650 for annual bus tickets for the older two children. The school was within their catchment area for free transport when she selected it, but a rule change means she now has to pay.
"I wanted to spend time with the kids on family day trips and show them parts of Ireland they hadn't seen, but instead of having more time relaxing with them, I did more shifts in work," she said.