Back-to-School Budget Blues?

It’s back to school time, and moms are spending more this year on some categories vs. others.

Families with children in grades K-12 were expected to spend an average of $603.63 on school supplies, apparel and electronics, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation, an amount close to the average of $606.40 a year earlier.  Spending on clothing and school supplies was projected to slightly decrease over last year, while spending on computers, cell phones, mp3 players and tablet devices was expected to increase slightly. This is despite the fact that 51.9% of families with school-age children planned to buy electronics this year, down from a historic high of 63.7% last year.

Moms and other consumers are encountering higher prices than in the past. The cost of cotton, e.g., has climbed, impacting clothing prices. But, according to the NRF report, “Americans are compensating for the difficult economy by buying more store-brand or generic items, comparison shopping more often online, and shopping for sales.” 

What about you? Did you spend more, or less, for back to school this season? By how much, on what, and why?