American families spending more than ever before on school supplies

By Amanda Henderson for News Channel 20

Back to school season is here, but this year it is costing Americans more than ever.

Some said how they buy their supplies has changed over the past few years due to events out of their control.

“Pencils, pens, erasers,” is what Betty Sujaya Ice said she typically buys in bulk when she goes back to school shopping for her children.

There are always familiar sights and sounds of the back to school season. But as another year begins, so do the payments, which are more expensive than ever.

“With the uptick in the taxes, it wouldn’t surprise me at all,” said Bronti Tehandon, a shopper.

But here’s what may catch you off guard.

The average American family is spending nearly $700 on their children for back to school supplies.

“The price has risen and what we’ve found we need less so we only buy what we need to as opposed to what is suggested. The days of 19 cent folders are not there anymore,” said Susan Patel, a parent.

Some believe there’s a new factor this year playing a role in the rising dollar amount, which is social media. Some said seeing other children or parents buying certain items builds up the pressure to then buy them as well, whether or not they have the money for it.

“Whenever you put something on Facebook or Instagram and they post pictures of ‘hey, this is cool, you can have it for your school or something like that and it’s a really nice outfit, it makes you want to go out and buy it,” said Tehandon.

Although, some people say they would much rather shop from the comfort of home for a reason they never expected.

“With all the problems and safety instead of some of these places, Amazon might be the way to go from now on,” said Patel.

She said it is also easier to just go to one store or shop online rather than going to multiple different stores for the school supplies needed.

Now out of that nearly $700 (R10 713,22) each family spends, they said they will only spend about 20% of it on what is considered traditional school supplies.

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