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Survey: Parents Spend $179 Per Child on Back-to-School Shopping

Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic…and fashion? When it comes to going back to school, moms drop some serious coin to make their kids look good, according to a new survey from and Women & Co., Citibank’s personal finance resource for women. According to a survey of 1,000 moms, 60 percent say that clothing will be their biggest expense this year, with 91 percent admitting that they spend more on their kids’ wardrobes than their own.  On average, families are planning to spend $131 on clothing and $48 on school supplies, per child, for a total of $179.
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The study also revealed some other interesting tidbits:

  • Midwest moms are thrifty: Moms in the center of the country--who were the least likely to think of themselves as bargain-hunters--were ironically the most likely to stay under budget.  Moms in the Northeast, however, admitted they were most likely to get carried away and spend more than they should.
  • How moms save:  54 percent of moms set a back-to-school budget and plan to stick to it, and will do so in a number of different ways.  45 percent think of themselves as “bargain-hunters,” clipping coupons and searching for sales; 28 percent are “one-stop shoppers,” visiting one or two retailers to buy everything they need to save time; and 20 percent are “early birds,” shopping as soon as the sales start to get the best selection.  But despite all of their best efforts to save, 1 in 4 moms still feel that they get carried away with back-to-school shopping and buy more than they should.
  • The most detested back-to-school chore is not shopping. More than 50 percent of moms say getting their kids back on a reasonable schedule is their most detested back-to-school chore--over school supply and clothing shopping, registering for school activities and attending start-of-the-school year events.

How much will you spend on back-to-school stuff—more or less than the average? Leave a comment.