New school year means big spending for back-to-school supplies

Families spend an average of $840 per year
It’s an annual ritual parents know too well, the back-to-school supply list. In this Watching Your Wallet, ways you can save and also help others.
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 11:52 AM CDT
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InvestigateTV - It’s time for kids to head back to school and according to the National Retail Federation, families with school-aged children averaged more than $840 on school supplies last year.

Cherry Dale, a financial coach with the Virginia Credit Union, said sticking to the specific items on the list will help keep costs down. She also urged parents to reach out to the school if they’re running short on supplies.

“If a parent has a hard time funding those back-to-school items, I would highly encourage them to contact the school directly,” Dale said. “Many schools partner with community partners that provide backpacks and provide school supplies for free for parents that need them.”

If you’re not worried about being able to afford supplies, Dale mentioned this is also a good time to teach your child about the importance of giving back.

She suggested that while shopping with your child for their supplies, ask them to pick out something for another student who might need it. You could then donate it to the school together.

Dale encouraged parents to spread out the cost over the summer to avoid using credit cards to pay for them.

If you need help getting supplies for your child, try contacting your local school district or community organization, like the United Way or the Boys & Girls Club of America.