According to the National Retail Federation, 44.5% of parents will shop from three to four weeks before school starts. Another 25.4% will wait until one or two weeks before the first day of classes.
Despite the rising cost of basics like food, fuel and utilities, we will be shopping. That NRF survey indicates that combined K-12 and college spending will reach just under $75 billion in the United States this year.
However, we’ll be pickier about how and where we buy. For example:
- 64.4% will shop at discount stores
- 34% will buy store brand or generic items
- 25.6% will repurpose some school items from last year
The average family with children in grades K-12 will spend an average $669.28 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, up 5 percent from 2013. Families with college students will spend $916.48.
“What to buy in August: How to make your back-to-school bucks count” is the topic of my monthly post in Retail Me Not’s The Real Deal blog. Remember, too, that back-to-school sales are a good way to replenish your home office. Go ahead and get that Angry Birds flash drive if you want. Brown-bagging it with an Angry Birds lunchbox, on the other hand, is pushing it.
More article links, plus coupons
Recently I was interviewed by Mint.com on the topic of money management. It’s part of a series of Q&As with personal finance writers. Hope you’ll give it a read.
I answer questions about frugal-living misconceptions, tips on overcoming bad spending habits, creating a family budget and preparing kids to manage money.
And speaking of kids and money management: The second half of my Get Rich Slowly piece on that very topic ran today. “What older children need to know about money” focuses on topics such as higher education, college loans, credit scores and why debit cards might not be the right choice in the long run.
Finally: You may have noticed a big block o’ coupons on the right side of the home page. You don’t have to install a coupon printer in order to print out these Qs. If you print any out, I get a teeny-tiny bonus. Remember my oft-repeated mantra: A solvent blogger is a happy blogger.