School’s Out: How American Kids “Spend” The Summer

As children across the US get knee-deep into the summer, parents expect to spend an average of $856 per child on summer activities, up 40% from 2012, according to the most recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. This amounts to an expected $55 billion spent in the US on keeping kids busy, entertained and educated during the off-school months. Additionally, more than a third (35%) of teens sought out summertime employment. Yet, not all spending money will come from summer-time paychecks. Parents are giving kids a hefty raise, as the average weekly allowance rose to $32 per week, up almost 70% from 2012.

Download and view the Spending & Saving Tracker

All summer activities for kids are on the rise, from pool memberships to day camp. The top five activities and anticipated average dollar spend, per child, include:


% of Americans

who plan to spend

% increase

from 2012
      Avg. spend

1.  Day Trips (e.g. Theme parks):
71% 13% $284

2.  Sports Teams:
44% 29% $228

3.  Pool or Club Membership:
36% 50% $157

4.  Education or Arts Program:
33% 27% $227

5.  Day Camp:
26% 24% $314

6.  Sleep Away Camp:
23% 35% $329

Working Hard for their Money: Summer Jobs and Chores

While kids play, many teenagers will enter the workforce this summer. Thirty-five percent of parents (up from 32% in 2012) say their teens’ primary source of spending money will come from a summer job.

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