Back-to-School Costs Rising for Parents

Updated: 07/21/2014 10:47 PM
Created: 07/21/2014 9:51 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- School is right around the corner, which means a little bit of homework for parents. Back to school supply lists seem to be getting more expensive each year, at least according to a new study.

"That's what's going through my head is 'oh crap, there goes a boat load of money,'” said parent, Nicole Thielen.

Each year the bill seems to get heftier. A recent National Retail Federation survey shows the average family spends close to $700 on school supplies, that's up 5% compared to last year.

"Good 150 bucks a kid,” said Thelien. Take $150 times Nicole’s four kids and she’s spending $600 for schools supplies.

The survey also shows the spendier supply lists are driven by the need for electronic items like calculators and computer accessories.

"We understand and are fully cognizant of the fact that it does cost quite a bit of money to get the kids the education that the states really require,” said Byron High School Principal, Steven Willman.

Filling the supply closet often comes down to a balance between parent and school responsibility. "We want to make sure that cost is never going to be a factor in our educational opportunity for our kids,” said Willman.

Another reason parents may be spending more is the growing requests for classroom supplies like Kleenex and dry erase markers.

"It does add up, but their education is important so it's a priority on the budget list,” said parent, Karen Mensink. The good news, there's still time to figure out your budget. "I start really early and just do them one at a time, so it doesn't kill me a couple weeks before school starts," said Thielen.

The national survey also looked at college spending. It's predicted the average dorm bound student will spend more than $900 on school supplies, that's up nearly 10% from last year.