COLUMBIA (WACH) -- With the return to school approaching quickly, parents are feeling the financial pinch when it comes to supplies.
Midlands parents as they can expect to pay as much as 6 percent more to send their children to grades K-12 this year, according to the 2012 Huntington Backpack Index.
The annual school supply survey found that the cost of items on school supply lists and for common extracurricular activities increased at every level of school. Elementary school costs per student rose from $530 in 2011 to $548. Middle school costs per student saw the sharpest increase from $684 to $724. High school costs saw little increase growing from $1,093 to $1,117.
â??While there has been steady, moderate economic improvement over the past couple of years, consumers are still feeling the pinch as many families continue to struggle to make ends meet,â?? said George Mokrzan, Huntington Bank director of economics. â??Continuing increases in back-to-school costs for supplies and fees, that are often overlooked in retail forecasts, put quite a burden on working families. It will be a challenge for families with tight budgets to maximize opportunities for their school-age children this year.â??
Many people are expected to cash in on extra savings on school supplies during the tax free weekend that runs through midnight Sunday.
We would like to know how much you have budgeted for this years return to school. Are there any tips that you can recommend to other parents? Leave us a comment here, on our Facebook page, or tweet us @wachfox.