Nearly half of parents aren’t prepared for their kids to return to in-person learning

NEW YORK — Parents — get ready to empty your wallets. A study of 2,000 American parents of school-aged children finds half say their kid’s pricey supply list gives them anxiety (51%). Two-thirds think back-to-school season will be more expensive than last year.

Commissioned by Slickdeals and conducted by OnePoll, researchers discovered that parents anticipate spending a few dollars more on school supplies than clothes ($225 vs. $217) this fall.

Half of parents also expect to spend more on technology for their kid’s education this year compared to last (51%). However, the items making most school supply lists for the first time ever this year are face masks and hand sanitizer (both at 47%).

Are parents ready for the switch?

Back to School BluesThe study also reveals nearly half of parents believe they aren’t prepared for their kids to return to in-person learning (47%). Parents may feel this way because they aren’t ready to deal with the cost of supplies (43%), their child’s separation anxiety (40%), and drop off/pickups (36%).

As most kids return to class, parents estimate their children will go through 25 pencils and nine notebooks this year. While 54 percent of parents have already started school supply shopping, more than a quarter are holding off because they can’t afford school supplies right now (28%). Most parents find themselves spending more money than usual when they go to buy school supplies (87%).

Nearly half the poll have savings set aside specifically for their child’s school supply costs (47%) and 42 percent spend the summer months building a budget for the next school year’s school shopping, but parents still struggle to completely check their lists off.

Although 57 percent of moms and dads don’t have a college fund set up for their child, 42 percent of those who do say they have had to borrow money from their child’s college savings to pay for their school supplies.

Back to School Blues“It’s not surprising that parents report feeling stress over the cost of school supplies, but there are some simple strategies that can help save money,” says Ryan Tronier, Senior Personal Finance Editor for Slickdeals, in a statement. “One of the first things parents should do is take inventory of what they already have at home. Also, saving some of your shopping until after the school year starts can be a good thing for your wallet as you may find that some of the things you thought your child might need are not as necessary.”

Back to school bargain hunting

The results also reveal that having a picky child doesn’t help 45 percent of parents when it comes to school shopping. A similar number of parents surveyed have a kid that unknowingly picks out the most expensive version of a product because it comes from a specific brand (44%).

Still, most parents opt to buy the more affordable version — no matter what their child wants (57%).

“Between new sneakers, supplies and technology, back-to-school costs can add up quickly. We have a large community of savvy shoppers so users can score the best deals on the best products,” adds Tronier.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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