Local News

Aug 1, 2014 7:16 PM by Charlie Misra

Parents deal with more expensive back-to-school shopping

While kids are enjoying their final weeks of summer break, their parents are having to dig deeper into their pockets just to pay for the pens, paper and other items their children need when they go back to school.

A National Retail Federation survey shows the average family pays $670 for school supplies, electronics, and clothing, with the supplies and electronics being the main reason for the spike in price.

Parents are having to find ways to make it work.

Santa Maria mom Rose Barba knows it's becoming more expensive to send her kids back to school each fall with a full backpack.

"It's just getting crazy you know, with the school stuff," said Barba. "I dread it every year, let me tell you."

According to a study by Huntington Bank, the cost of school-related spending has increased by 20% in just one year.

"I'm looking for deals everywhere I can," said Barba. "Coupons, you name it, I'm looking for them online."

Barba, who is a mother of three, with one in high school, and two in junior high, tries to shop in the offseason to find better deals.

Shante Maldonado has three elementary schoolers of her own. She too, tries to start shopping early.

"The prices do go up," said Maldonado. "It does get costly every year. Backpacks and the school seems to want more. More supplies, everything."

"Taking my kids places and stuff, I have to cut that out," said Barba. "I tell them you know, I'm on a budget and I can't be doing that. And they understand. I'm really grateful that they do understand what I'm coming through. Because I told them, money's hard right now for all of us."

"It's just ridiculous," said Maldonado. "They want your kids to get education, but at the same time, they make it hard on everything, you know? You want them to learn and everything like that, but at the same time you make it hard, you know?"

Barba's been back to school shopping for 14 years. She says every year, she takes $1,000 of her income tax money to shop for her kids' supplies.

For tips on budgeting and planning for the school year, click here.

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