Unexpected back-to-school expenses can easily add up this fall

Personal Finance


Watch out, parents: Back-to-school season can easily put a four-figure dent in your budget.

Parents of high school students can expect to pay an average $1,489 per child for school supplies and activity fees, according to the annual Huntington Bank Backpack Index. That’s a drop of $9, or less than 1 percent, from 2016.

Parents of elementary-school students can expect to pay an average $662 per child, up 1 percent from last year. Middle-school students’ parents will fork over $1,001, a 4.6 percent increase.

Some parents expect to shell out even more. One in 5 parents said they plan to spend more than $2,000 per child in back-to-school shopping, according to a new Capital One survey.

Teen boys and girls said the most important items to have when returning to school are new clothes and new shoes, according to Ebates Back to School survey. But other expenses aren’t ones parents or kids might expect. The Huntington Backpack Index cites under-the-radar purchases such as tissues and dry-erase markers for the classroom, and a graphing calculator for older students.

Here are some of the other big-ticket back-to-school purchases to watch out for:



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