Back-to-School Spending: How Much is Too Much?

Sales are expected to jump this year for back-to-school spending, according to the National Retail Federation.


That is the amount the average person with children in grades kindergarten to 12th grade is expected to spend this year on back-to-school shopping, according to the National Retail Federation's annual back-to-school spending survey. 

Last year, the survey predicted families would spend $603.63. 

"With more children entering elementary and middle school this fall and after cutting back their spending last year, parents with growing children will hit the stores this summer to replace and replenish what their children might have had to “make-do” with last school season," according to a NRF press release. 

Parents surveyed said they would spend the most on clothing, accessories, and electronics this summer as the first day of school approahces.

The survey found the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend $246.10 on clothes, $217.88 on electronics, $129.20 on shoes, and $95.44 on school supplies — such as notebooks, pencils and backpacks. 

In addition, about six in 10 people said they would invest in some sort of electronic device, according to the survey. This is up from 51.9 percent who planned to buy an electronic device last year.

Tell us in the comments:

Have you started your back-to-school shopping? Are you spending more or less this school season? Do you have any creative ideas on how to save on back-to-school shopping? Will you buy some sort of electronic device for your child this year? Do you think $688 is a reasonable amount of money to spend for back-to-school shopping?  

Tim F August 01, 2012 at 01:40 AM
My 2011 property taxes that I paid in 2012 sent $4200 to my local public school district. I don't have kids in the school district, never had kids in the school district, and unless some miracle happens, won't ever have any kids in the school district. Your point about having to contribute $688 for you own child is?
SHUSSBAR August 01, 2012 at 12:14 PM
The list given by schools are ridiculous. 60 pencils for 5th grade? what do they do with 60 pencils in 9 months of school? It s ~7 pencils/month! Do they eat them?
Tim F August 01, 2012 at 04:15 PM
My total taxes were $6195. 18.24% miscellaneous taxes, 67.78% school taxes, 8.55% municipality/township taxes, 5.43% crook county taxes. My total tax bill went up 28% over last years bill. My house resale value stayed unchanged +/- 4%. I don't mind paying taxes for kids to go to school. I do mind paying support for those lazy ones who stay home and raise the next generation of inmates.


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