Annual Back-To-School Shopping Survey Shows Spending Affected By Economics, School Budget Cuts

Back-to-school shopping season is kicking off, and with it comes a new survey by Capital one Financial Corporation, which finds that shopping plans are being affected by both school budget cuts and economic conditions.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 59 percent of parents surveyed said that the money they plan to spend on back-to-school shopping has been impacted by current economic concerns, while 42 percent noted that school budget cuts will impact the amount of money they spend.

Shelley Solheim, Director of Financial Education at Capital One stated, according to Yahoo! News, that:

“Parents are feeling the effects of the economy and school budget cuts. As more parents are being asked to contribute basic classroom supplies, families are having to plan ahead and re-think their back-to-school shopping habits. The silver lining is that parents are talking more with their kids about shopping expectations, priorities and needs versus wants. These are sometimes tough conversations to have—for both parents and teens—but extremely important as many teens are looking to their parents for information on money management topics like budgeting and saving.”

Because of the issues with the economy, as well as school budget cuts, parents are planning ahead and thinking more smartly about their back-to-school shopping plans. 49 percent are planning to shop at a discount store, with the majority of parents searching for better deals on school supplies. 70 percent of parents are even saying that they have been doing their school shopping throughout the summer, in order to score better deals.

With hard economic times and school budget cuts, almost 70 percent of parents and 84 percent of teens report that they have talked about need versus want when it comes to school supplies. Many are creating a back-to-school shopping budget, and more often than not parents and teens are working together to create the list. This trend is up from last year, when less than one-third of parents and teens said they made a shopping list or budget.

For parents and teens, clothes were at the top of their back-to-school shopping list, with traditional supplies like pens, pencils, and notebooks coming in second.