Parents across the country are slowly getting ready to send their kids back to school if they haven't already. Local stores are stocked with a variety of school supplies ranging from pens, paper, and highlighters to multi-subject notebooks, advanced calculators and Chromebooks. Back to school shopping isn't cheap and it seems like this year parents are paying more than ever before on school supplies.
#Backtoschool spending reaches a new high: Average planned spending per household is expected to reach an all-time high. Learn more by visiting NRF’s back-to-class headquarters: https://t.co/fZSwmmvqc4 pic.twitter.com/rWHfvxXeq7— National Retail Federation (@NRFnews) August 6, 2019
According to a new survey by the National Retail Federation, parents are spending almost $700 this year on their children ranging in age from elementary to high school, to send their kids back to school. The study, which has been conducted every year since 2003, found that this year parents have spent the most to send their kids to school, spending an average of $696.70 on supplies, up from $684.79 last year.
The study also found that parents of k-12 students are spending the most on clothing and accessories, averaging $239.82. Electronics, such as Chromebooks, tablets and phones are the next biggest expense with an average household spend of $203.44. Even standard supplies like pencils, pens, and paper add up, and the study found that just over half haven't begun their shopping yet, while just under half are waiting for the best sales.
It might be annoying to have to go back to school shopping with the crowds, but for those who want to save some money, it's best to wait until the stores put their supplies on sale.
The numbers don't get any better for those sending a child off to college either. The average family spends almost $1000 on supplies to send their child to college, again a record for this survey. Parents are spending money on school supplies and electronics for their college kids, but also personal care, food items, school team gear, and dorm room furnishings. Add that onto the cost of tuition and sending your child to college just got even more expensive.
It seems that while parents are spending more than ever before on back to school, they don't really need to be. The New York Post notes that in a survey conducted by YouGov for Bankrate.com, 43% of parents have felt pressured to overspend while back to school shopping.
Bankrate.com analyst Ted Rossman said the reason for the overspend is parents are buying more than what's necessary for back to school. "Today we’re not just talking about pencils and school supplies per se, but also about a broad array of clothes, accessories, and electronics."