Average Back-to-School Spending Expected to Rise for 2019

Even if the calendar and weather insist that summer is still here, make no mistake that back-to-school season has arrived. In addition to students preparing to employ their alarm clocks once again, many parents are prepping their wallets for the expenses that come with the new school year. In fact, according to a new study by the personal finance site WalletHub, parents are expected to spend more on school supplies in 2019 than they did last year.

This year WalletHub estimates that Americans will spend an average of $697 while back-to-school shopping. That’s an increase of $12 from 2018 as the figure pushes closer to the $700 mark. Moreover one-third of those surveyed said they planned on spending more on supplies this year than they did last year.

WalletHub also asked parents where they intended to do more of their back-to-school shopping. The overwhelming favorite was Walmart, which 35% of respondents said was the best place to purchase school supplies. That was followed by Target with 18%, Amazon with 13%,  and Staples with 8% – as well as Dollar Tree and Costco tied at 5%. As for what deals parents are most looking forward to, 48% said they were excited for discounts on clothing while 41% were anticipating deals on basic supplies.

Speaking of deals, one of the best times to shop for back-to-school is during tax holiday weekends. In several states shoppers can enjoy duty-free purchases on various school supplies. While some of these tax holiday events have already taken place, states such as Connecticut, Maryland, and Texas will hold theirs in the coming weeks. Of note, each state may have different rules and restrictions for which items qualify for the tax holiday.

Finally, WalletHub also asked parents about a few personal finance topics as they relate to their students. For example 61% of those surveyed said their child’s education was worth going into debt for. Interestingly “debt” was also the top concern parents had about their children graduating college, followed closely by the job market. Elsewhere, asked at what age students should be given their first credit card, one in ten said they should have one before they turn 18 while 37% said it should be before they are 21.

With Americans spending a total of more than $80 billion per year on back-to-school supplies, the annual shopping tradition may not be quite to the level of the winter holidays but it is certainly a major expense for parents. However by taking advantage of tax holidays, shopping around for deals, and more, adults can help cut the amount they spend on their students’ supplies each year.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

Other Articles by Jonathan Dyer

Marqeta Expands Credit Program with New APIs and More

A FinTech that specializes in creating credit card experiences is rolling out some new features. This week, Marqeta announced what it calls a "significant expansion" of its credit platform. This includes more than 40 new credit APIs that will further help clients craft and launch their own credit card products. Additionally, the company notes an updated intuitive dashboard. Using this platform, businesses can create unique card options that can not...

PayPal Launches Small Business Credit Card with Flat 2% Cashback

The popular platform PayPal is rolling out a new product built specifically for small businesses. Today, the FinTech announced the launch of The PayPal Business Cashback Mastercard. The new card will be issued by WebBank and marks the first time PayPal has offered a business credit card. With the PayPal Business Cashback card, business owners will be able to earn 2% cashback on all purchases. This earning rate is not...

Wells Fargo Unveils New Autograph Rewards Visa Card

A new rewards credit card is on the way from Wells Fargo. Today, the bank introduced its Autograph card, which expands the company's refreshed card portfolio. In terms of rewards, the Wells Fargo Autograph Card will earn 3 points per dollar spent in a number of categories. These include restaurants, travel and transit, gas stations, select streaming services, and phone plans. All other purchases will earn 1x points. Beyond the...