Personal spending on education in 2016
(Source: BBVA Compass Research)
Brought to you by
By Vanessa McGrady
154,000 teachers and 4.8 million students
Need assistance or want
to help others?
The nonprofit organization Kids in Need Foundation partners with teachers, local authorities, and corporations to help students in some of the most economically challenged areas in the nation. Last year alone, the foundation helped provide school supplies for
For more stories on financially healthy habits, check out MoneyFit.
"The U.S. spends a significant amount per pupil — one of the highest in the world. But the outcome, measured by performance in reading, writing, and math, is just average. It is crucial that as a society, we find ways to improve performance across the board by spending more wisely as opposed to spending more.
In addition, given the challenges of the knowledge economy, we have to work hard at elevating the quality of our basic education system, so that our kids have the best opportunities when they enter the workforce for jobs that have not been created yet and that will depend heavily on creativity and innovation."
— BBVA Compass Chief Economist Nathaniel Karp
“Once you have a list of school supplies required for your child,
search around your home for any usable supplies from the previous year.”
“Collect leftover pens, pencils, notebooks and other supplies so you don't
waste money on items you already have. You should also clean out your
children's drawers and closets to get a better idea of their clothing
and footwear needs.”
Ways to save on back-to-school shopping
Consumer expert Andrea Woroch (www.andreaworoch.com) says:
You can track prices and set up deal alerts for your favorite stores, categories, or products through sites such as slickdeals.net. Pennypinchinmom.com also has
a searchable database for back-to-school items.
Organize a gear/clothing/tech swap with other parents,
or ask the PTA to do a school-wide swap.
Trade in old electronics with retailers such as Walmart, Target, Amazon, and Apple to get cash toward new items.
Swap it up
Chegg.com is a rental site
for college textbooks.
Share expensive books
with a study partner.
Buy used books and trade
in your old ones for credit.
Rent or share textbooks
Retailers offer steep discounts on summer clothes,
some of which you can layer up or wear into the fall.
Look for coupons you can print or save to your phone
wherever you plan to shop.
Comparison shopping apps such as Flipp can show you
the best deals; if you find a better price, some stores
will meet or beat it.
Cash in on discounts
Don't buy new
Other school fees may include
These may vary widely from school to school. Some fees may be optional.
Musical instrument rental
According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school shopping is based on needs that fluctuate from year to year according to the item. For instance, kids likely won't need
a new backpack or new electronics every year, but chances are they will need new shoes, new clothes, and new notebooks.
Why do average back-to-school costs fluctuate from year to year?
(Source: National Retail Federation poll of 6,800 adults with children in K-12 and college)
37% of families with kids
in college said they plan to spend the same as last year
(35% in 2015)
54% of households with school-age kids (6-17) expect to spend the same amount on back-to-school items as last year
(57% in 2015)
Back-To-School Spending for the Average Family
Trends in Spending and How to Save Money