“My shopping habits have changed a lot,” said Longmore, a human resources officer who lives in the Poconos, Pennsylvania, with her husband and five children.
Longmore earns over $100,000 a year, well above the US median household income of $65,000. But she said that wasn’t enough to comfortably support her extended family. The back-to-school season brought problems to the fore, as four of the couple’s five children are of school age.
“Not everyone got everything new, [and] For example, a 12-year-old boy chose new clothes instead of new backpacks and stationery. Younger children have inherited their siblings’ rucksacks and desks, but they still have life.
Other family members may have made similar decisions.
Parents are expected to spend about $661 to $864 on K-12 school supplies in the 2022-23 school year, according to estimates from consulting firm Deloitte and the Federation of National Retailers.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said: Those sacrifices could include buying off-brand items, hunting for sales, and cutting discretionary spending, he said.
Some families face these challenges all the time at the beginning of the school year. But that’s not what Longmore is used to.
“It’s been at least 20 years since I’ve had to pull back this far,” she said. “This is a new and humbling experience for me as an adult.”
out of money
Molly Schmitz, a Wisconsin mother of four, said she, like Longmore, often recycles last year’s supplies.
She’s hardly alone.
Morning Consult said, “We survey consumers every other week, and what alarmed me was the surge in the number of parents who felt they couldn’t afford all the school supplies this year.” Claire Tassin said. Retail and e-commerce analyst at a market data intelligence company.
Single-income or single-parent families can feel particularly cramped.
Gen Corrigan, who lives in rural Maine, said her daughter, a single mother, bought clothes and shoes at a thrift store and bought food for lunch. But when Corrigan asked her about her school supplies, “it was clear my daughter had overlooked this in her budget,” she commented to CNN Business in an email.
Corrigan said he bought $140 worth of supplies for his granddaughter and was happy to help her hard-working daughter. But she worries about school children who don’t have her grandparents to help her.
Not only parents but also teachers are concerned about preparing their classrooms properly for the new school year. Many people end up spending their own money on supplies, and people in low-income areas often buy supplies for their students.
Sixth grade teacher Cynthia Angell of Tracy, California, found she could not financially support her class of mostly low-income students. She said in her email to CNN Business that she “has been providing school supplies to students in the past, but this year she won’t be able to do that.”
She hopes families who can afford to donate supplies for classrooms, but “but I think there’s only so much that parents can do,” she said, adding that the problem could be a problem for low-income students. He added that he was worried that it would disproportionately affect
“So do I limit what we do for equality, or do I ask for help, or do I give up my own needs to help students?” Angel said. “I think the answer is yes to all three.”
Longmore, the mother of the Poconos, is about to see the silver lining of waste and sacrifice.