Kitting out a child throughout their school life will set parents back close to £7,000, it has emerged.
A poll of 2,000 mums and dads found kids' uniforms make up the largest percentage of the cost, followed by pens, pencils and other stationery.
School bags, sports kits and shoes also add to the cost along with school trips, fetes and raffles.
A typical parent can expect to fork out #446.13 per year on one child's school equipment alone.
The study was carried out as tens of thousands of parents hit the high streets to stock up on goods in preparation for the new school year.
Chris deBoer, of short term lender Lending Stream, said: ''Many parents will be shocked to realise that they will spend over seven thousand pounds on kitting out each of their children for school, but with parents spending £446 per year over the twelve years in school, it really adds up.
''And of course, average families with two children face a bill of over £12,000 for the costs of kitting their children out for school and sending them on trips that are an important part of their education.
''That is a lot of money for any parent to find and it wouldn't be surprising to find that a lot of mums and dads worry about how they are going to afford the things their children need for the coming school year.''
Other expenditures that will be added to a parent' bill are ingredients for baking in class, charity donations for non-uniform days or similar and presents and cards for teachers.
Mum and dad can also expect to pay out over £100 per year on these items per child for each school year.
It also emerged reception class is the most expensive, followed by years six and seven, but more than a third believe they spend the most during the junior years of school.
The study also found new parents aren't prepared for the costs of the 12 years at school, as more than two thirds admitted the cost had come as a shock.
In fact, they estimated to be paying out an average of £1,536.72 during the entire time at school, almost five times less than the actual sum.
The pay outs are taking their toll on families too, but children aren't losing out on trips or uniform, as a quarter of parents will go without things they need to make sure the kids are happy.
The credit card is another option for covering school costs, along with help from the grandparents for one in ten families.
It's also a worry that children have to go without things for school for over half of parents and 37 per cent have admitted their child has missed a school trip because of their lack of funds.
This time of year tends to be the most expensive as many mums will be heading to the shops to buy a fresh uniform, sports kit and stationary to set their child up for the new school year.
But a 'last minute' one in seven parents say that the first week of the autumn term is the most expensive time to pay for kit for school.
Parents are even adding computers, tablets and mobile phones to the list of things they need to buy for their children.
PARENTS' SHOPPING LIST OVER A LIFETIME:
Pens, pencils and other art supplies: #685.08
School shoes: £474.24
School trousers: £401.76
Packs of socks: £360.00
School trips: £347.16
School shirts: £311.76
School blazer: £286.80
School jumpers: £266.64
School bags: £265.20
Sports top: £232.80
Sports trousers: £224.40
School photos: £202.68
Other charity donations: £190.32
Swim suits/trunks: £184.08
Polo necks: £180.72
Sponsoring your child: £129.72
Dressing up outfits: £126.72
Attending school fetes: £126.60
Ingredients for baking classes: £111.96 Presents and cards for teachers: £105.24