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Capital One's Annual Back-to-School Shopping Survey Finds Current Economic Environment, School Budget Cuts Will Impact Back-to-School Spending This Year

MCLEAN, Va., July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As back-to-school shopping season kicks into full swing, a new survey from Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) finds that current economic conditions and school budget cuts are having a significant impact on back-to-school shopping plans, and that more parents and teens are planning ahead and talking seriously about back-to-school shopping and budgets.  


In Capital One's 12th annual back-to-school shopping survey, 59 percent of parents say the amount of money they plan to spend on back-to-school shopping this year is impacted by current economic concerns, and 42 percent of parents say their spending will be impacted by school budget cuts. 

This is causing parents to plan ahead and think smartly about their back-to-school shopping plans. The majority of parents report looking for deals on back to school purchases, with 49 percent planning to do the majority of their back-to-school shopping at discount retailers and 70 percent of parents reporting that they are shopping throughout the summer and starting early to score deals. More often than not, this also means getting their teens involved.

"Parents are feeling the effects of the economy and school budget cuts. As more parents are being asked to contribute basic classroom supplies, families are having to plan ahead and re-think their back-to-school shopping habits," said Shelley Solheim, Director of Financial Education at Capital One. "The silver lining is that parents are talking more with their kids about shopping expectations, priorities and needs versus wants. These are sometimes tough conversations to have—for both parents and teens—but extremely important as many teens are looking to their parents for information on money management topics like budgeting and saving."

Nearly 70 percent of parents and 84 percent of teens say they've discussed needs versus wants for back-to-school items. About half of parents and teens say they've created a back-to-school shopping budget, while 64 percent of parents and 71 percent of teens say they've made a list of back-to-school items together. These conversations are taking place at a much higher rate than in 2011. Last year, less than one-third of parents and teens reported making a shopping list or back-to-school budget.

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