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Survey Says Parents, Teens to Do More Back-to-School Spending

July 30, 1998|From Reuters

Parents and teenagers will spend 3% more this year on back-to-school clothing and other essentials, a national survey shows, but consumer experts advise combing through closets and setting budgets before ever heading to the stores.

According to American Express' fourth annual Retail Index, parents can expect to spend $300 per child, with teenagers contributing an additional $108 toward the purchases.

Overall, the survey of 1,300 consumers showed, 82% of teens will help pay for back-to-school items. High school students will contribute 26% more than last year, but college students will contribute 15% less.

Consumer experts say that getting children outfitted for school without overspending is a difficult task, but it is a good time to teach them about budgeting.

"Kids develop their future money management skills by emulating parents," said Durant Abernethy, president of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit, a Washington-based group.

"So school shopping is the perfect opportunity to teach kids how to be wise consumers."

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