With the back-to-school shopping season now in full swing, parents shouldn't squander the opportunity to teach their children some new personal finance skills.
Or so suggests a new report from Capital One, which finds that while teens and parents don't always have the same priorities for back-to-school shopping, there may be ways to find common ground. The report notes that establishing a budget, creating a shopping plan and setting financial goals may all help keep school time spending under control -- while also imparting some helpful money lessons to students.
Parents and teens square off on prioritiesConsumers have indicated that they plan to spend less this year on back-to-school shopping than they did last year, according to figures released last week by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Average back-to-school spending hit a new high in 2012 at $688.62 per family, but consumers will only spend an average of $634.78 this year, according to the NRF.
Nevertheless, while it probably doesn't come as a surprise to parents, teens still tend to be more focused on style than cost. According to Capital One's figures, that can cause a significant divide between the two groups when it comes to back-to-school shopping.
- 47 percent of parents say price is the most important factor in making back-to-school purchases, compared to 22 percent of teens who say price is a priority.
- 36 percent of parents are concerned with purchasing quality back-to-school products, compared to only 10 percent of teens.
- 40 percent of parents plan to use discount stores for the majority of their shopping, but 47 percent of teens say they will be mostly shopping at department stores.
- One in five teens say that tech gadgets such as cell phones or laptops are on their "must-have" list, while only 4 percent of parents say the same.
With 21 percent of parents saying they spend more on back-to-school supplies than they do on college savings, the Capital One report suggests families may want to make shopping a family affair."Back-to-school shopping season is a great opportunity for parents to help influence money management habits in their children that can last a lifetime," said Shelley Solheim, director of financial education for Capital One Financial Corporation, in a written statement.