Back-To-School: Parents and Teens Don’t See Eye to Eye on Shopping Lists

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With summer vacation winding down, back-to-school shopping is in full swing. Are you and your teen on the same page about how your hard-earned money will be spent?

Maybe not. According to a new survey done for Ebates.com, a coupon and cash-back site, parents and their teenage children don’t always agree on priorities for back-to-school spending, particularly when it comes to tech.

Here’s the teens’ list of back-to-school tech must-haves, from the survey:

  • Headphones, mentioned by 52 percent.
  • Smartphone, 43 percent.
  • Laptop, 36 percent.
  • Apps, 26 percent.
  • Tablet, 24 percent.

Now, let’s compare that with what the parents said:

  • Laptop, mentioned by 33 percent.
  • Headphones, 29 percent.
  • Tablet, 29 percent.
  • Smartphone, 20 percent.
  • Apps, 17 percent.

Luckily, all agree that traditional items like notebooks, pens and pencils should be a priority. Ebates said:

When it comes to their most important priorities for back-to-school shopping, 87 percent of parents and 68 percent of teens agree that traditional classroom items such as notebooks, folders, pens and pencils and school clothes are at the top of the list. While other back-to-school staples like book bags or backpacks are also considered critical items by both parents and teens, the Ebates.com survey discovered that 1 in 10 parents (14 percent) include surprising must-haves like immunizations and new haircuts on their checklist.

According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school shopping is expected to hit $26.5 billion this year for families with children in grades K-12. If you’re looking at ways to save money this shopping season, click here to check out our list of 15 ways to spend less on back-to-school shopping.

What’s on your back-to-school shopping list? Do you and your teenage kids share priorities? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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  • grandmaguest

    I don’t get it……none of the items on those lists, as far as I’m concerned are a necessary item for a teen in high school. They are just “I wants”. Unless the school requires them, I would insist that the teen purchase them with their own money. Sorry, but I’ve seen too many kids messing around in classes with those things and not paying attention. The focus in school should be learning not texting, Facebook, twitter, listening to music, or any of the dozens of other things. In fact I would be happy (if I still had a child in school) to have those things confiscated by the teacher if the student were caught using them in class then not return them until the end of the school day. I would also want the school to notify me of the infraction so that I could also admonish or take away the item from my child for a time……especially if I am footing the bill for the internet, cell phone or what ever for that child. Those items are NOT necessarily a right!