School supplies, backpacks, uniforms and electronics all add up to make late summer the second-busiest shopping season after the winter holidays.
A recent survey by Chase and Working Mother magazine says that 41% of moms anticipate spending more on back-to-school items this year than last, with clothing being the biggest expense.
Fifty-three percent said that rising costs of school supplies accounted for their increased spending, but nearly half said they anticipate spending about the same this year as they did last year.
After school expenses
Mothers also said that extracurricular activities added significantly to the total bill for school shopping. Twenty-one percent expected after school activities like sports and music lessons to cost more than their kids’ school supplies and new clothes combined.
Clothes biggest budget-busters
Forty-six percent said that clothing and school uniforms were the biggest expenditures this time of year, and 29% said they find the high cost of clothing and uniforms to be anxiety-inducing. Pricier items like laptops and tablets are also on many wish lists, but may be out of reach financially. If money were not a factor, 62% said they would buy a laptop or tablet this season.
One-third of working moms shun online shopping
Although time is at a premium for working mothers, when it came to online shopping versus actually going to the store, a surprising 69% said they plan to do much of their shopping in-person rather than online. Thirty-one percent plan to do all of their back-to-school shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
Saving strategies: sales, coupons, discount stores and re-using supplies
Most people surveyed said they would be taking advantage of the many back-to-school sales offered this time of year. Eighty-six percent of mothers said they would shop the sales in order to save some cash. Another 61% said they will use coupons, and 57% plan to shop at discount stores. Fifty percent will recycle last year’s school supplies to reduce costs.
As for payment methods, 52% of working mothers said they plan to check out using a debit card rather than a credit card the majority of the time, indicating that they expect to be able to cover the costs without going into debt.
The Working Mother-Chase Slate Back-to-School survey was conducted online between June 3 and 10, 2013. A total of 820 back-to-school shoppers was surveyed, 302 of whom self-identified as working mothers.