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Kim Butler

Partners for Prosperity, Inc.

City:Mt. Enterprise

State: TX

I have 20+ years of handling alternative investments in cash, growth and income for clients nationwide.  I strive to help my clients with all things financial in every way possible over the phone and the web.  I own an alpaca farm which I enjoy working during my downtime.  I also enjoy gardening, writing and reading books.  I also train other advisors on Prosperity Economics.

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Consumer Spending Trends: Economy Impacting Back to School Shopping

More than three-fourths of families with children in grades K-12 said that the economy is impacting their back-to-school spending plans: Survey

| BY Donald Liebenson

July marks the start of the back-to-school shopping season. Too soon? For kids, maybe, but not for parents trying to earn a little extra credit for finding the best prices on back-to-school items.

Back-to-school is the first major shopping event of the year and retail’s second biggest shopping season after the winter holidays, according to consumer spending trends tracked by the National Retail Federation. Last year, families with children in grades K-12 spent nearly $690 on school-related items. This year, parents are tasked with yet another tough assignment, even if the economy is getting a higher grade. More than three-fourths of families with children in grades K-12 said that the economy is impacting their back-to-school spending plans, the NRF reports.

Just over one-fourth of parents (26 percent) plan to ask their children to rummage through their closets for items they can reuse for the upcoming school year, according to a survey conducted by BIGInsight for the NRF. This is up from 24 percent last year. Eighteen percent—up from 17 percent last year—will log on to the Internet to compare prices and seek the best deals.

More than one-third will use coupons or purchase generic products (37 percent each), the consumer spending trends survey also found.

The economy, too, isn’t just impacting purchasing decisions. Thirteen percent of parents said they are cutting back on extracurricular activities, while 7 percent are choosing whether their child goes to public or private school.

Early projections forecast that parents will shop and spend more on back-to-school shopping than they did last year. Foot traffic is expected to increase less than 1 percent this August, but sales are expected to increase 4 percent over last year, according to ShopperTrak. In comparison, back-to-school shopping increased 4.5 percent increase in 2011 and 5.9 percent growth in 2012.

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.