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If your client’s a parent, the most wonderful time of the year — back-to-school time — might wreak havoc on cash-flow planning.

That’s because 53% of Canadian parents say back-to-school shopping strains their finances, reveals a survey by RetailMeNot, a company that maintains coupon websites.

Though 64% of parents say they set a back-to-school budget, more than half (56%) admit they spend more than planned.

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The survey finds parents will spend $883 this year getting kids ready for school  — $325 more than what they spent on holiday gifts last year. Further, more than one-third of parents (40%) say they don’t realize how much they spend on back-to-school shopping until they get the credit card bills. And 39% say it takes months to pay off those bills.

The large amount of spending is perhaps more easily understandable considering that, for today’s students, back-to-school shopping lists extend beyond paper, pencils and backpacks. Half of Canadian kids ask for the hottest tech and clothes. For instance, the survey finds smartphones set parents back $255 on average, while laptops cost $582.

Of course, emotions make sticking to a cash-flow plan especially difficult: most Canadian parents (62%) say they care more about getting their kids what they need than about saving money. And fathers most agree with this sentiment, with 66% caring more about spending on the kids than saving, versus 58% of mothers.

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About the survey: From July 14 to July 15, 2017, an online survey was conducted among 1,519 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The results are statistically weighted according to census data to ensure a sample representative of the Canadian adult population.

Also read:

Consumer spending gains annual 3.88% in Q2

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Originally published on Advisor.ca
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