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American Express Says Back-To-School Spending Will Increase This Year

For the upcoming back-to-school season, parents aren’t constricting their wallets on apparel and technology purchases for their children.

According to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker report, BTS expenses will cost an average of $1,642 for parents this year, which is up $403 compared to last year. Out of this 2016 BTS spending average, parents will spend an average of $293 on new clothes and $505 on smartphones, tablets and laptops. Despite setting budgets, parents are willing to go above their spending limits to make sure their kids have good garments and digital devices to succeed in the classroom.

Apparel purchases are up 95 percent this year for parents, compared to 91 percent in 2015. While shopping for BTS clothes, 64 percent of parents have set a shopping budget and 50 percent of parents will only buy garments if they are within spending limits. Although parents prefer to save money on apparel, 23 percent said that they would be willing to exceed their clothing budget, which is up 3 percent from last year. A majority of these parents (59 percent) said that if the extra apparel purchases would help their children do well in school, they would buy them regardless of price.

Unlike previous years, technology is playing a crucial role in children’s education. This year, 92 percent of parents said that their children are using digital devices in class, compared to 82 percent last year. With this change in schooling, parents will also be shelving out more funds to buy their kids laptops, tablets and smartphones. More than half of parents (59 percent) said they will be purchasing technology gadgets for the upcoming BTS season, compared to only 46 percent in 2015. Along with an overall increase in technology purchases, 11 percent more parents will be buying mobile devices for their children this year.