Hey, parents—it’s Back-to-School time again!
Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that your kids were counting the days until summer vacation? Now, after a few weeks of unlimited quality time and togetherness, we have a countdown of our own, don’t we? Yep. We’re counting the days (and possibly the hours) until school starts again. The thought of our children being out of the house for six hours every day may feel like cause for celebration, but as the grown-ups, we’re expected to play it cool. We have to find something to temper our end-of-summer excitement. The looming prospect of back-to-school shopping might do the trick.
Ready. Set. Spend.
According to a recent consumer survey, back-to-school (B2S) spending is expected to reach $27.6 billion this year. As you would probably guess, the bulk of that money (more than 75%) will be spent on clothing and school supplies. In fact, 98% of respondents indicated they planned on purchasing these items. If you’ve ever braved the B2S shopping scene, you’re probably not shocked by those figures. What you may find surprising is the fact that planning ahead isn’t always the best way to save money.
Survey results show that shoppers who tried to beat the back-to-school rush wound up spending approximately $100 more per household (If you’re a chronic procrastinator, this informational tidbit is pure gold). This may explain why back-to-school shoppers will spend almost $18 billion between mid-July and mid-August. While last-minute sales and promotions certainly factor into the equation, the late-summer spending surge may be due to the nationwide popularity of tax free weekends.
South Carolina’s Tax Free Weekend is August 3-5. You’ll find a variety of back-to-school items exempt from the state’s 6% Sales Tax and any applicable local taxes. You can find lists of exempt and nonexempt supplies here.
If you’re a back-to-school veteran or if your little ones are starting school for the first time, this time of year means looking for ways to save. While the total amount saved on taxes may not be large compared to the amount spent, if you’re going to buy the items on your child’s school supply list anyway, you might as well schedule your shopping and save some money.
HopeSouth can help stretch those back-to-school dollars.
When you consider the average household spends $510 on assorted clothing, supplies, and gadgets per child, one thing is sure: no matter when you shop, back-to-school season comes at a price. Fortunately, we offer products and services that can make those school-related expenses much easier to manage. From low monthly payments with our Back-to-School Loan that helps you cover this year’s supplies to specific savings accounts that can help you prepare for next year, the solutions available at HopeSouth can make back-to-school shopping more affordable and less stressful.
At HopeSouth, we want to help you make the most of this back-to-school season! Contact us today to find out how we can ease the financial stress of shopping and set you up for a successful school year.