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Capital One’s Annual Back-to-School Shopping Survey Finds That More Parents Think They Are Having The (Money) Talk, Teens Aren’t Getting The Message

Six out of ten consumers say economic concerns will impact their back-to-school shopping spending this year, but as parents and teens look to pinch their pennies this year many don’t see eye-to-eye on shopping priorities and plans, found Capital One's 13 th Annual Back-to-School Shopping Survey of parents and teens.

  • Style vs. price showdown: Nearly half (47%) of parents surveyed consider price to be the most important factor when making a back-to-school purchase followed by quality (36%), but nearly half (46%) of teens said style and appearance top their priority list when making a back-to-school purchase and 19 percent of teens believe brand name is the most important factor to consider when making purchases. Only 22 percent of teens surveyed consider price a top priority, and even fewer (10%) see quality as their biggest concern.
  • Debate over department store vs. discount retailer: Forty percent of parents said they plan to do the majority of their shopping at discount retailers and 29 percent expect to shop in department stores. For teens those numbers flip, with 47 percent of teens expecting to do the most of their shopping at department stores and 29 percent expecting to do the majority of shopping at discount retailers.
  • Technology disconnect: This year, clothing tops the shopping list for the majority of parents and teens, followed by traditional school supplies like backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils. However, 21 percent of teens identified cell phones and smart phones, electronic gadgets, and computers as “must have” items on their lists, while only 4 percent of parents identified those items as top shopping priorities.

Overall, 69 percent of parents said they believe they are doing enough to teach their kids about personal finance and money management and 70 percent say they discussed back-to-school shopping and wants vs. needs with their child, yet less than half of teens (47%) say they have worked with their parents to develop a budget for spending and saving their money.

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