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2019 Back to School Spending Expected to Surpass $80 Billion

Spurred on by a good economy and low unemployment, Americans are expected to spend more than $80 billion this year on total back to school spending for their students. 

This, according to the National Retail Foundation, will set a new record for back to school spending in the United States.

The study found that families with children from elementary school to high school ages plan to spend just shy of $700, an increase of about $12 from last year. Those families with college-aged students expect to spend $976.

The study found that clothing represents the bulk of Back to School spending followed closely by electronics. And, sales events like Amazon Prime Day are becoming more influential in most consumer’s willingness to spend money.

Saving Money on Back To School Supplies

Saving some cash on back to school items is possible, especially if you go into back to school spending with a plan, says The Dollar.

“Most schools distribute a supplies list every year. Center your plan around that list, but also decide on whether or not your child needs named-brand supplies. They may want named-brand, but do they need it,” wrote The Dollar.

Popular radio host Dave Ramsey encourages consumers to sign up for store emails to help save money. “Many stores send out a weekly list of what’s on sale, and most even throw in a coupon too. And if you’re really tired of sifting through your personal email for all of those deals, you might try creating a separate email address just for this purpose!”

And, USA Today says that shopping smart will save most consumers a good amount of money. For example:

  • Make a list of everything you need. Target has school supply lists available through its School List Assist feature.
  • Compare prices. Start with a simple Google search of the product you want or use a price-comparison website like
  • Use coupons. Stores have coupons in their weekly sales circulars and on their apps and websites.
  • Earn points and rewards. Take advantage of store loyalty programs to get money off a future purchase.

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