A new survey shows that nearly half of parents will spend more than $200 on each child. Despite inflation anxiety, parents are willing to go all out for their kids. This year, 45 percent of parents are willing to spend more than $200 per kid compared to 29 percent in 2021. Debt.com polled parents on their back-to-school plans. Nearly 8 in 10 said they increased their spending because of inflation.
Debt.com’s 2022 parent survey also reports that 8 in 10 said inflation will translate into higher spending. Debt.com President Don Silvestri says there are two reasons for that.
“While inflation means you’ll spend more for the same back-to-school items you purchased last year, there’s also a psychological component,” Silvestri explains. “Consumers tend to actually buy more during inflationary periods – if they believe inflation will continue to climb. They figure they’ll actually save money by stocking up on nonperishable goods.”
Silvestri says Debt.com will conduct further research to see if parents are stocking up on back-to-school items for next year. Other results from the poll indicate parents aren’t scared by the economy, but they are taking it into consideration.
Most parents are willing to shop for generic brands (59 percent) and reuse old supplies (56 percent). But they’re less enthusiastic about cutting other household expenses to make room in their budget (28 percent).
More parents expect to spend $50-100 more this year (47 percent) than in 2021 (24 percent). However, they’re less likely to spend an additional $200 (7 percent vs. 30 percent).
Like last year, parents are spending more on clothing (48 percent) than technology (20 percent) or traditional school supplies (31 percent).
“Like holiday shopping, back-to-school shopping is nearly impervious to what’s going on around us – whether it’s inflation, recession, or pandemic,” Silvestri says. “Both happen once a year, and they’re about our children. It’s very hard for us to apply the same financial scrutiny we do in our normal lives, but it is still important to budget for back to school.”
Debt.com’s tips for smart back to school shopping:
- Buy when the time is right. The best time to shop is during your state’s tax holiday or if your state doesn’t have a tax holiday shop early in the season to take advantage of sales.
- Invest in second-hand items. A new school year doesn’t have to mean new clothes and supplies. With class materials lists getting longer each year, you can save big by getting essentials second-hand.
- Leverage coupons and student discounts. Couponing is the age-old tip for saving money. You can find them on websites or by adding web extensions like Honey that automatically search for discount codes as you’re online shopping. Coupons are especially useful when buying big-ticket items like computers, other electronics, and dorm furniture.