What's your back-to-school shopping style?
As families around the corner and around the country get their kids ready to go back to school, I have found it interesting to watch the way different kids and their parents get kids ready for school. Of course, there is the obligatory school supply list sent home by most school districts asking folks to purchase everything from crayons to calculators. And then there are the book bags, pencil cases, locker decorations, and other "non-essentials" that kids may or may not really need to effectively learn at school. Finally, there are the clothes. Hundreds of dollars spent on new clothes for kids to wear to school.
In some ways, back-to-school clothes shopping makes sense. Many kids have been bumming around in shorts and flip flops all summer and this is the first time for parents to evaluate whether or not they fit in any of the dresses, shirts, or pants they had last school year. But for many folks the back-to-school season has become it's own holiday - requiring gifts of clothes, gadgets, and trinkets that make the gear up to the winter holiday season even bigger.
This infographic, produced by USAagain, notes that the average American family spends roughly $246.10 each year on back-to-school clothes. Per kid. That's even more than most families spend on all of their other school supplies (including electronics and other gadgets.)
Still, the graphic shows that a slim majority (53.3 percent) of parents skip the back-to-school clothes shopping and just let their kids wear whatever clothes they already have.
There is no right or wrong answer here. I'm not trying to condemn back-to-school clothes shoppers anymore than I'm trying to praise those who skip the shopping. I just find it interesting that some invest so heavily in back-to-school clothes while others simply pass.
What's the rule of thumb in your house? Do your kids get a new wardrobe when it's time to go back to school or do they wear what they already own?