The rising cost of back-to-school

September 01, 2011 By Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew 0 Comment(s)

Parents are spending an average of $324 to get their children ready to go back-to-school, according to a recent poll conducted for Scotiabank by Harris/Decima.

That’s up from an average of $293 last year

Stationary is at the top of the list, followed by clothing and books, and electronics.

Through the course of the year, parents also expect to spend another $403 on field trips, pizza lunches and other incidentals, the survey found. That’s $50 more than last year.

About one-in-four parents say they have budgeted for these costs, with half saying they started saving at least three months ago. That’s up from 40 per cent last year.

The Scotiabank survey found that this level of spending seems to be more in line with 2009 than 2010.

So far I’ve spent just over $400 on school uniforms for my two elementary school students.

School supplies from Wal-Mart cost $24.36, about twice as much as they did at the Dollar Store.

A few tips for those still trying to tame their back-to-school shopping bill:

– You don’t need to buy everything before Labour Day. Take a few more days or weeks to see what your kids will actually need, then hit the stores again. You may be able to catch a sale.

– Better yet, check around for what’s still around, and perfectly good, from last year before you buy new items.

– Get the kids involved. This is a great opportunity to introduce, or reinforce, the notion of a budget. Help your kids understand that you have a set amount of money you’re prepared to spend, and that buying a name-brand pair of jeans will mean less money for the knapsack or other supplies. Older children can pitch in and make the buying decisions themselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *