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When given a choice between owning their own home or sending their kids to private school, an overwhelming majority of Australians chose home ownership.

A recent survey of 1,500 Australian adults conducted by ME, looked at the aspirations and financial pressures that Australians are feeling in relation to home ownership and education.

The survey found both of the two are considered to be goals, with 91% currently own or would like to own a home, and if money wasn’t an issue, 58% of Australian adults would like to send their kids to private school.

But when forced to make a choice between the two, 87% of Australian adults would choose owning a home over sending their children to private secondary school.

ME Money expert Matthew Read said the trade-offs between home ownership and private education is creating financial dilemmas.Home ownership v Private schooling

Some 40% of respondents said that owning a home will stop them from sending their children to private school.

“The enormous price tags both goals carry can make affording both out of reach for many so, one’s got to give, and for 87% of Australian adults, the house wins,” said Read.

“The survey also reveals we are willing to make some pretty big property and lifestyle sacrifices in an attempt to reach these financial goals.”

The survey found that in order to send their kids to private school:

  • 40% would sacrifice eating out
  • 38% would sacrifice a new car
  • 36% would sacrifice entertainment
  • 33% would sacrifice holidays
  • 29% would sacrifice new appliances for the home
  • 27% would sacrifice clothes and shoes
  • 23% would sacrifice sports and leisure activities
  • 12% would sacrifice work-life balance

“Even after the choice about home ownership versus private school has been made, there’s a lot of ambivalence,” said Read.

Over a third (35%) are worried about whether they’ve made the right decision, while just over half (51%) don’t think the financial pressure of doing both is worth it.

“When considering why home ownership wins over private school for those who have to choose, the cultural pressure we feel to own a home and live out the Australian dream may be a contributing factor on top of cost,” said Read.

For those people that Private Schooling is a high priority, they have to carefully consider their cashflow situation.  If they do not has sufficient cashflow, they have to consider a few options.

These options include both partners working or taking on additional work, downsize the family home, or taking out credit.

Quite a daunting choice to make.

You can see why most Australians would prefer to own a home.  Private schooling is probably a more intangible thing.

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