While people are still having lots of summertime fun, some are also gearing up for school – and they are planning to spend more this year than last, according to the new American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.
The survey found that when the numbers are crunched parents expect to be spending $1,642 on average on back-to-school gear, which is a significant upswing from last year when the average spend weighed in at $1,239.
Overall spending is up a whopping 33%. “When looking at trending data on this topic from the past five years, 2016 is showing the largest year-over-year increase for back-to-school shopping,” said Jed Scala, senior vice president, Consumer Lending at American Express. “This may be attributed to an ever-evolving back-to-school shopping list and, perhaps, parents’ ability and willingness to spend more when it comes to education and extracurricular activities.”
Wondering what they will be spending on? Both musical instruments and mobile devices are trending with parents this school buying season. And here, too, they will be spending more – expecting to pay $267 for instruments up from $194 in 2015, and $172 on mobile devices when here last years spend averaged $125.
But that’s not all parents are willing to pay more this year than last. Other areas are up as well including:
• School supplies: $138 (2016) vs. $111 (2015)
• Clothing and accessories: $293 (2016) vs. $269 (2015)
• Shoes: $145 (2016) vs. $120 (2015)
• Outerwear/jackets: $126 (2016) vs. $106 (2015)
Using technology for educational purposes is definitely in style too, with 92% of parents saying that their children use tech to learn, up 10% from last year. So here as well the average spend is up with parents budgeting to spend $505 on computers/laptops, tablets, phones, or other mobile devices, when last year they planned to spend $466.
What is the most popular tech? Laptops took the top spot, with 28% of parents getting ready to buy one this season, with tablets (23%) and cell phones (19%) following close behind. All are up from last year. The survey took place from July 6 to 11.
11 with a random group of 2,050 adults.