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Americans Plan to Sacrifice for Their Kid’s Education. Then They Do.

An overwhelming majority of American parents want to see their children succeed and believe that success is likely to begin with education.

An overwhelming majority of U.S. parents want to see their children succeed, believe that success is likely to begin with education, and plan to make significant sacrifices to create educational opportunities according to new data from the financial firm HSBC. Some 87% of parents surveyed by the company reported that they were willing to make personal sacrifices so that their children can succeed. Add many had already done so, minimizing time off and personal expenses in order to pay, on average, $58,464 on a child’s education from primary school through college.

HSBC’s Value of Education Report highlights the financial and personal lengths U.S. parents are willing to go to support their child’s education, including sacrificing leisure. Of the respondents, 24 percent had forfeited “me-time” and/or given up hobbies, while 17 percent said they’d drastically reduced or completely stopped leisure activities and eliminated vacation. Some 18 percent said they’d changed their working style while 20 percent reported working extra hours at their existing jobs. U.S. parents anticipated these sacrifices well in advance, too — 60 percent started battening down the hatches financially before their child began primary education.

In essence, American parents seem to understand that the government and employers do not have their back. They accept this and maneuver accordingly.

“With the rise of the information economy and a challenging job market for young people, education has never been more important than it is today. Parents know this and they are willing to go to great lengths to secure the right educational opportunities for their children,” said Charlie Nunn, Group Head of Wealth Management at HSBC, in a statement.

These lifestyle changes go towards some seriously hefty costs parents are putting towards education at all levels, from tuition for private schools to uniforms and P.E. outfits to coloring supplies. Interestingly, HSBC found that parents contribute more money on average to primary school than college-level costs — $24,168 as compared to $22,012. The number is less surprising when considered in light of the fact that primary education takes longer, but still unnerving given the amount of press college costs have historically received.  In between, parents pay an average of $12,284 for secondary school.

HSBC – Value of Education Report

What parents consider a sacrifice is of course entirely subjective, and the report also shows that they make these commitments out of sincerely high hopes for their child’s success. 84 percent of are confident their child will have a bright future, 66 percent are confident their child will get top grades, and 76 percent are confident they’ll get a great job, showing just how devoted parents are to wanting the best for their kid.