The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be read in the context of the date it was published. Views in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the view of Scottish Friendly.

Pupils in Scotland are already back at school after some glorious weather during the summer holidays. Shortly, kids in the rest of the UK, from Hogwarts to Hull, will be either starting school for the first time or resuming the world of learning.

Figures recently released from the Money Advice Service  show that more than a quarter of parents will rely on some form of credit to get their children ready to go back to school, new research has found.

The survey reveals that 26% of mums and dads will pay for books, stationary, school uniforms and other items via credit. Some 16% will use their credit cards, 8% will rely on an overdraft, while 2% will take out a loan to cover the costs.

More than half of parents (62%) will be spending £200 or less on back to school items, with the average spend £180, while nearly one in ten (9%) expect to fork-out a whopping £900 or more.

When discussing previous spending, 15% of parents admitted they spent more than they could afford to get their children ready for the school year, while 17% said they worried about overspending again this year.

In order to cut costs, a third of parents (31%) will use second hand and handed-down items such as school uniform, while 22% use vouchers and offers to try and make the new school year as cheap as possible.

The costs involved in financing children are a constant struggle for parents. If it’s not birthday presents, it’s Christmas presents; if it’s not sports then it’s finding money for the summer holiday.

Making sure you’re making the best use of your money helps. This week, Scottish Friendly starts its Thrifty Family competition so keep an eye open for this. As well as getting some useful money saving tips, you could also win £100 if you submit the best money saving tip.

No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.