Capital One's Annual Back-to-School Shopping Survey Finds That More Parents Think They Are Having th


Capital One's Annual Back-to-School Shopping Survey Finds That More Parents Think They Are Having the (Money) Talk, Teens Aren't Getting the Message

Many parents and teens don't see eye-to-eye when it comes to back-to-school shopping plans, and less than half of teens say they have worked with parents to develop a budget for spending and saving

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Six out of ten consumers say economic concerns will impact their back-to-school shopping spending this year, but as parents and teens look to pinch their pennies this year many don't see eye-to-eye on shopping priorities and plans, found Capital One's 13th Annual Back-to-School Shopping Survey of parents and teens.

  • Style vs. price showdown: Nearly half (47%) of parents surveyed consider price to be the most important factor when making a back-to-school purchase followed by quality (36%), but nearly half (46%) of teens said style and appearance top their priority list when making a back-to-school purchase and 19 percent of teens believe brand name is the most important factor to consider when making purchases. Only 22 percent of teens surveyed consider price a top priority, and even fewer (10%) see quality as their biggest concern.

  • Debate over department store vs. discount retailer: Forty percent of parents said they plan to do the majority of their shopping at discount retailers and 29 percent expect to shop in department stores. For teens those numbers flip, with 47 percent of teens expecting to do the most of their shopping at department stores and 29 percent expecting to do the majority of shopping at discount retailers.

  • Technology disconnect: This year, clothing tops the shopping list for the majority of parents and teens, followed by traditional school supplies like backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils. However, 21 percent of teens identified cell phones and smart phones, electronic gadgets, and computers as "must have" items on their lists, while only 4 percent of parents identified those items as top shopping priorities.

Overall, 69 percent of parents said they believe they are doing enough to teach their kids about personal finance and money management and 70 percent say they discussed back-to-school shopping and wants vs. needs with their child, yet less than half of teens (47%) say they have worked with their parents to develop a budget for spending and saving their money.

"Back-to-school shopping season is a great opportunity for parents to help influence money management habits in their children that can last a lifetime, as we know our childhood experiences shape our adult attitudes about money," said Shelley Solheim, Director, Financial Education, Capital One Financial Corporation. "Many parents say they're talking with kids about important concepts like wants vs. needs this shopping season - which is great news -- but parents can further reinforce those practices by building a shopping budget with teens, discussing priorities and trade-offs, and comparison shopping together to get the best deals."

About half of parents (52%) say they will spend about the same amount as last year, while 25 percent expect to pay more and 19 percent expect to pay less than last year. More than 1 in 5 parents (21%) say they spend more on back-to-school supplies each year than they are saving for college.

  • Twenty-one percent of parents plan to pay between $150 and $200 per child

  • Twenty-four percent of parents plan to spend more than $200 per child

  • About a third (32%) plan to spend $100 or less

Teens Lack Practical Money Management Experience

Although teens report high levels of confidence in their money management skills - 71 percent gave themselves a grade of "A" or "B" for their current knowledge of financial responsibility - teens have limited practical money management experience. Fewer than half of teens have worked with their parents to develop a budget for spending and saving - even though 62 percent of teens report receiving an allowance, and 63 percent of those who do get an allowance receive between $10 and $50 each month.

Teens also lack an array of other money management experiences:

  • Sixty-five percent of teens do not plan to help pay for their back-to-school shopping

  • Half (50%) of teens say they spend between $5 and $20 each week

  • Only 27 percent of teens have a summer job

  • 9 out of 10 teens say they are not involved in paying household bills or budgeting

  • Eighty-three percent of teens plan to attend college, but 51 percent are not saving money to help pay for college

Teaching Teens Personal Finance Skills

Capital One offers the following tips to help parents take advantage of the back-to-school shopping season and other opportunities to talk to their teens about money management skills:

  • Make back-to-school shopping a family affair. Sit down together and make a list of what your teen already has, what they need and how much you can spend.

  • Do your homework. Make back-to-school shopping something you do together and use it as an opportunity to teach your teen how to comparison shop. You can also encourage your teen to look at prices online to see how they fit with their budget before you head to the store.

  • Crunch numbers together - establish a budget. Consider having your teen contribute money to purchasing school supplies and other necessities throughout the year. Discuss how much they may contribute and work it into your budget. Once you set a budget, stick to it.

  • Help set goals and steps to achieve them. The next time your teen gets a windfall—from a gift, allowance or part-time job—ask them if they have a plan for their money. If not, talk about things they might want to save for and how they can create their own budget.

  • Participate in the day-to-day. Teach your kids how to write checks, balance a budget and the importance of paying bills on time the next time you pay monthly bills. This gives teens an idea of how much utilities and other necessities, like auto insurance, will cost them as adults.

For more free tips and tools to talk with your kids about money, visit

Survey Methodology

For Capital One's annual Back-to-School survey, Braun Research was engaged to conduct 1,064 interviews with 564 parents of teenagers aged 11-17 and 500 teenagers, aged 11-17 across the United States. Surveys were conducted by telephone from July 10, 2013, through July 15, 2013. The margin of error for the parents at 95% is plus or minus 4.13%. For the teens, the margin of error at 95% is plus or minus 4.38%. Interviews were monitored at random. Sampling for this study was conducted across the United States using a national probability sample of all exchanges and area codes of households with someone aged 11-17 living there. All interviews were conducted using a computer-assisted telephone interviewing system. Statistical weights were designed from United States Census Bureau statistics.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation ( is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $209.9 billion in deposits and $296.5 billion in total assets as of June 30, 2013. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.

Capital One Financial Corporation
Shelley Solheim, 917-589-6203

KEYWORDS: United States North America Virginia


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