Parents Spending Less on Back-to-School Shopping

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Two things jump out from some recent back-to-school shopping research: 1. People are planning to spend less this year and; 2: Your neighbors likely think you are spending too much.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans spent $8.6 billion on back-to-school shopping last year. This isn’t too surprising, since more than 25% of children and adults are enrolled in school.

However, the latest trend is to spend less on the annual ritual of back-to-school shopping, according to The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research.

Research from those firms suggests that retailers will see a continued decline in the number of back-to-school shoppers in their stores this year. Traffic dropped by 3.5% in 2013 versus 2012. For back-to-school 2014, the firms expect to see a decline of nearly 5%.

The National Retail Federation said the average family expects to spend nearly $670 on attire, supplies and electronics – based on data collected for its 2014 Back-to-School Survey. That doesn’t sound too bad.

However, despite this frugality, most Americans apparently think that parents are spending too much on back-to-school shopping.

Eight-four percent of the respondents to a survey from GOBankingRates said that a “reasonable” budget for back-to-school shopping should be less than $500. A majority of them, 52.6%, actually thought it should be less than $200.

We can only conclude that GOBankingRates must have surveyed a lot of folks who aren’t parents.


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