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RetailMeNot: Parents spend $659 annually on school supplies


Austin, Texas – Parents spend, on average, $659 on school-related costs throughout the year per family. According to a survey from digital coupon provider RetailMeNot, 67% of parents start their back-to-school shopping by the end of July, which is down slightly from 2013 (71%).

Nearly nine-in-10 parents (88%) surveyed report that their child participates in extracurricular activities during the school year, which on average add up to $396 throughout the school year. Moreover, working parents are spending even more than non-working parents on extracurricular activities ($428 compared to $301).

Research suggests that school-related costs impact the spending habits of parents. Three in four parents have spent less on something for themselves specifically because of their child's education costs. And more working parents than non-working parents (78% compared to 68%) have spent less on items for themselves due to school fees. The top items parents have cut back on for themselves include clothing or shoes (56%), dining out (55%) and vacations (49%).

The ways people are back-to-school shopping may be shifting as well, as online shopping is increasingly playing a larger role in the season. Only 60% of parents plan to shop mostly or completely in a physical store this year, compared to more than seven-in-10 (72%) who did so in 2013.

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