AUSTIN, Texas, July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gone are the days when parents thought pencils and Trapper Keepers were enough to start the school year. Now school-related expenses include hefty costs on extracurricular activities and the latest trendy clothing! According to a recent survey conducted by digital offers destination RetailMeNot ( www.retailmenot.com) and The Omnibus Company ( www.omnibus.com), parents spend, on average,$659 on school-related costs throughout the year per family.
"It's important to factor in the costs of extracurricular activities in order to stay within budget for the school year," says Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor for The Real Deal by RetailMeNot. "Surprises usually do come up during the year. Whether it's a birthday party for the classroom or a fundraiser for art class, there are plenty of ways to save and stretch your budget by shopping early and always looking for discounts." According to the survey, 67% of parents start their back-to-school shopping by the end of July, which is down slightly from last year (71%). Extracurricular expenditures Nearly 9 in 10 parents (88%) surveyed report that their child participates in extracurricular activities during the school year. These activities add significant costs onto parents' education expenditures—on average, they add up to $396 throughout the school year. Moreover, working parents are spending even more than non-working parents to keep their kids involved ( $428 vs. $301). Whether kids are participating in sports teams (53%), class day-trips (53%), music or theater clubs (32%) or fundraising (32%), costs associated with these activities mount up. Almost all parents (90%) acknowledge contributing monetarily to extracurricular student activities or school-related fundraising.