Women & Co./Parenting.com Survey: 9 out of 10 Moms Spend More on Kids' Fall Wardrobes than Their Own

Average Clothing Spend Higher Than School Supplies

Back-to-School Spending Characteristics Vary Sharply By Region

Aug 02, 2012, 08:00 ET from Women & Co. from ,Parenting.com

NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Women & Co., Citi's personal finance resource for women, and Parenting.com, online home of Parenting and Babytalk magazines, today released results from their 2012 Back-to-School Spending Report, providing an in-depth look at how moms really feel about shopping and school-related costs this year. According to a survey of 1,000 moms, 60 percent say that clothing will be their biggest expense this year – with 91 percent admitting to spending more on their kids' wardrobes than their own. On average, families are planning on spending $131 on clothing and $48 on school supplies – per child.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120802/CG50259-INFO)

"Even when it comes to fall fashion, women put their kids first – spending more on back-to-school clothes than their own wardrobes. And with so many purchases being made, the back-to-school season can be a perfect opportunity to teach children the value of spending wisely," said Linda Descano, President and CEO of Women & Co. "Whether you're giving kids an allowance to buy their own gear or making a game out of finding the best deals on school supplies, nearly every purchase you make – or don't make – can be used as a teachable money moment."

"The number of visitors to Parenting.com looking for kids' fashion-related content is nearly three times what it was a year ago—and a spike during the back-to-school season indicates that modern families are making kids' style needs a priority," said Mark Wildman, VP/Group Publisher of The Parenting Group. "Savvy, millennial moms will seek out tools and content that make shopping for their children's clothing and gear fit the family's budget and lifestyle, such as apps for making smart buying decisions on the go."

The survey also examined moms' attitudes towards back-to-school shopping, and found significant differences in spending habits among families in different parts of the country. For example, moms in the Midwest – who were the least likely to think of themselves as bargain-hunters – were ironically the most likely to stay under budget during back-to-school season. Moms in the Northeast, however, admitted they were most likely to get carried away and spend more than they should. Additional findings include:

  • Moms' most popular ways to save: Fifty-four percent of moms set a back-to-school budget and plan to stick to it, and will do so in a number of different ways. Forty-five percent think of themselves as "bargain-hunters", clipping coupons and searching for sales; 28 percent are "one-stop shoppers", visiting one or two retailers to buy everything they need to save time; and 20 percent are "early birds", shopping as soon as the sales start to get the best selection. But despite all of their best efforts to save, 1 in 4 moms still feel that they get carried away with back-to-school shopping and buy more than they should.
  • School fundraisers starting to take their toll. More than half of moms said that school fundraisers were becoming a burden, and 17 percent no longer have the time or resources to keep up with what is being asked of them.
  • Cost of college worrying public school parents. Sixty-nine percent of respondents overall were uncomfortable with what they have saved for their child's college education. Nearly half of public school parents were extremely worried about college expenses, responding that they were "very" uncomfortable with the amount they have saved – yet only 29 percent of private school parents feel the same.
  • The most detested back-to-school chore is not back-to-school shopping. More than 50 percent of moms say getting their kids back on a school schedule is their most detested back-to-school chore – over school supply and clothing shopping, registering for school activities and attending start-of-the-school year events.

Despite the money issues on moms' minds, they are still picking up the tab for the majority of their kids' school expenses – only 12 percent have their kids pay for any of their own back-to-school shopping. At the same time, many are using back-to-school as an opportunity to teach their kids about money: Over half (55 percent) use the back-to-school season as a reason to have a money talk with their kids.

Visit Women & Co. at www.womenandco.com and bookmark the site from your mobile phone for money-saving tips and tricks you can use while back-to-school shopping, money activities for kids on the go, and more. For more detailed results from the Back-to-School Spending Report, visit the Women & Co. blog and for additional resources for today’s modern families, visit www.Parenting.com.

The online resources available at Women & Co. are one part of a comprehensive suite of online and digital services provided by Citi. Recent digital developments include the new Citibank Online, a new mobile banking platform being rolled out across the globe, click to call/chat via Twitter, the ThankYou® Point Sharing App, Mobile Check Deposit, Citibank Popmoney®, Citibank (Kindle Fire Edition) and Citibank for iPad®, which independent research firm Forrester Research, Inc. highlighted in a January 2012 report entitled "Case Study: Citibank's Tablet App Transforms the Digital Banking Experience."

About Women & Co.

Women & Co., a service of Citi, is the go-to personal finance source for women. By providing financial content, commentary and community, Women & Co.'s mission is to get women thinking and talking about personal finance. Founded in 2000, Women & Co. is one of the longest running personal finance websites dedicated to helping women strengthen their financial futures. Twitter: @WomenandCo

About Citi

Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://new.citi.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

About The Parenting Group

The Parenting Group (TPG), home of Parenting.com and Parenting, Babytalk, and Conceive magazines, reaches over 15 million modern families every month, bringing them fresh ideas through print, digital, and social media, as well as mobile platforms, custom content, and events. TPG's publications include Parenting, the leading voice in helping millennial families navigate the first years of a child's life; Parenting School Years, the only magazine specifically designed to give families insight into the latest news and trends as they raise school-aged kids; Babytalk, which delivers fresh answers and ideas for today's moms as they adjust to the new world of motherhood; and Conceive, a bi-annual guide for women trying to get pregnant. Parenting.com offers visitors all of the searchable and sharable content needed for the modern family lifestyle, with real-time access to the information they need now. TPG gathers custom insights from its Mom Testers panel, a nationally-representative online research network. Find us online at www.Parenting.com; on Twitter at @Parenting; on Pinterest at www.Pinterest.com/parenting, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/parenting. The Parenting Group is a division of Bonnier Corporation.

SOURCE Women & Co.; Parenting.com