Back-to-school shopping spree: Parents spending $843 per child to prep for in-person learning this year!

NEW YORK — It’s hard to believe, but back-to-school shopping is already in full swing and this year it seems parents have no qualms about ensuring their kids are prepared. New research shows that parents are sparing no expense, spending an average of $843 on each child!

The study of 2,000 American parents of school-aged children and shows that projected spending on each child is up by 19 percent from an average of $707 last year.

With spending up, it is no surprise that more than a third of parents (37%) are starting their back-to-school shopping earlier this year. In fact, half of parents (51%) will have started their back-to-school shopping before August arrives! Of those staying ahead of the game and getting their shopping finished early, two in three (67%) are doing so to help them budget better, while 59 percent want to take advantage of sales.

Back-to-school shopping

Back-to-school bank breakers

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Affirm in July 2021, the survey found that clothes (70%), school supplies (43%) and backpacks (39%) are the top things American parents are prepared to splurge on for this back-to-school season.

With budgeting at the tops of minds, it only makes sense that parents spend a little over an hour (68 minutes) hunting for the best back-to-school deals. It’s no surprise that more parents plan to shop in-person this year than last (39%, up from 35%).

Still, four in 10 plan to shop both in-person and online, and for a good reason you might not expect: 50 percent agree there is more variety online and 42 percent feel that buying everything in one place is a major perk of in-store shopping.

And in a surprise turn of events, in addition to shopping for their kids, 65 percent of parents say they wouldn’t mind actually doing their own “back-to-school shopping.” The top items parents will snag for themselves are clothes (68%), shoes (58%), self-care items (33%) and even a bottle of wine (17%). Nearly half of parents (48%) admit they even plan on celebrating when their kid goes back to school!

Back-to-school shopping

Much-needed ‘me time’

Parents’ excitement for heading back to school doesn’t stop there. Nearly a quarter (22%) are planning to take a vacation without their kids to mark their child’s return to the classroom.

“This year, back to school shopping is for both kids and parents,” notes Silvija Martincevic, Chief Commercial Officer at Affirm. “Parents are planning to spend significantly more on back-to-school items like clothes, shoes and self-care items. Regardless of what they’re shopping for, the need for financial flexibility is clear. In fact, 50 percent of parents surveyed are interested in using a pay-over-time solution for their back-to-school shopping this year.”

For parents interested in using a pay-over-time solution for their back-to-school shopping, the most popular categories they plan to shop for are clothing/shoes (65%), electronics (52%), backpacks and book bags (44%) and school supplies (40%).

“With parents preparing to spend significantly more on back-to-school items this year than last, it’s more important than ever for them to leverage financial tools like pay-over-time solutions to help them to spend responsibly and stay within budget,” said Martincevic. “With this in mind, it’s encouraging to see that more than a third of parents polled have already used a pay-over-time solution in the last six months.”