Recently, Citi’s personal finance resource for women – Women & Co. – teamed up with Parenting.com to survey 1,000 moms about back to school spending for the upcoming school year. The 2012 Back to School Spending Report uncovered several trends, including:
- clothing is the biggest expense in back to school shopping, with 91% of mothers surveyed admitting they spend more on their kids’ wardrobe than their own
- 1 in 4 mothers believe they “overdo” it when it comes to spending for back to school
- only 12% of moms have their children help with purchasing back to school clothing and supplies
*Visit Women & Co. for the full 2012 Back To School Spending Report
Can you identify with any of these statistics? I have four kids going back to school this year – one starting college, two in high school, and one in elementary school. Clothing is definitely our #1 expense, especially with my 11yo son, who seems to grow through clothing sizes at an alarming rate.
I also think the national average of $131 for clothing and $48 for supplies per child is fairly conservative, at least for our family. How much do you estimate you spend per child for Back To School?
Women & Co. suggests that Back To School shopping season is the perfect opportunity to talk with your children about money. There are several ways you can involve your child in budgeting for Back To School:
- look through the supplies and clothing you already have to determine a current “inventory” and perhaps eliminate items from your shopping list
- look for promotions, specials, and coupons for the items on your list
- comparison shop between retailers in order to get the best prices
- ask your child to save their own money to assist with buying Back To School items
- set a realistic budget with your child and stick to it!
For more personal finance advice and education about Back To School and more, visit the Women & Co. website, where you can sign up for their weekly newsletter. You can also keep up Women & Co.’s regular finance tips through their Twitter stream at @WomenandCo.
In the next couple of weeks, I will be taking on a Back To School Shopping Challenge with my kids. With gift cards provided by Citi for each of my three school-aged children at home, we will see how well we can stay under the $141 national average for Back To School clothing expenses for each child. I plan on using several of the money-saving techniques suggested above, and then I will come back and report our experiences to you here at 5 Minutes for Mom!
Win a $50 VISA Gift Card for Your Own Back To School Shopping Challenge
Four (4) readers at 5 Minutes for Mom will each win a $50 VISA Gift Card to embark on their own Back To School Shopping challenge. Gift cards are provided by Citi and available to readers 18 and older; redemption of each gift card is governed by gift card terms. To enter this giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter form below. New to Rafflecopter? Watch this 45-second video on how to enter!
*Disclosure: Gift cards for myself and for giveaway were provided by Citi. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.