With the new school year quickly approaching, many American parents are looking to factor spending money on their children’s supplies into their personal finance strategies.
Families with a child in Kindergarten to the 12th grade will spend nearly $670 on supplies, clothing and other needs this summer, 5 percent higher than last year, when it was $634.78, according to a report from the National Retail Foundation. Those families that have high school students will pay the highest amount, on average, as this figure is nearly $683. Elementary school children will have the least average cost, as they will be approximately $580.
“Slow improvements in the economy may have contributed to the growth in confidence among back-to-school shoppers, and while we are encouraged by the overall tone of the results and expect to see continued improvement in consumer spending through the year, we know Americans are still grappling with their purchase decisions every day,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF. “Throughout the history of this survey, spending has fluctuated based on family needs each year, and this summer, we expect parents to continue to use caution, but also make smart decisions for their family budget that is a good balance between what their children ‘want’ and what they actually need.”
Some individuals struggle with personal finances
Getting the right financial strategy to take care of everyday needs can be important, though some individuals may not think they are capable enough to achieve this. This can be worrisome when attempting to manage simple budgeting issues. According to a report from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, more than 25 percent of those polled are not at all comfortable with their financial situation, to the point where they would rather not deal.
“Personal finance can be complicated, thus there is no shame in admitting difficulty understanding how to best manage money,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “However, since there is easily accessible and affordable help available nationwide, it is regrettable that more people don’t take advantage of it.”
Only 8 percent said that they were completely comfortable with their financial situation, the report noted. Another 30 percent felt that they were making progress on increasing their financial knowledge, which another 35 percent explained that they are just starting to explore their personal finance options.