CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. - Two Chesterfield elementary schools are just one weekend away from their first day back to school, and Hopewell Public Schools return a week later, but the school supplies students need to succeed can run up a hefty bill.
A new Deloitte study estimated an eight percent annual increase in back-to-school spending in 2022. That means on average, parents can expect to spend $661 per child compared to $612 in 2021.
According to the National Retail Federation, families spent more than $840 on school supplies in 2021, and this year, they estimate that cost will rise to $864 a family.
This comes as many families are struggling financially.
"We are having to, you know, really make clear decisions on what we're we're getting," mother Blair Armstrong said. "Gas is high, you know, trying to budget for their supplies."
That same Deloitte study showed 33 percent of households said their financial situation has worsened since last year. More than half of the families surveyed were concerned about inflation’s impact on the cost of school products.
"I think it's just taking a lot more budgeting that you probably just didn't have to worry about it before," Armstrong said. "Now you have to be really cognizant of where your funds are going."
Some parents expressed to CBS 6 the importance of back-to-school supply drives because without them, they said their family may not be able to afford items on their child’s school list.
"The fact of gas, inflation, all these other things going on, the last thing we want to worry about is our children having to figure out how they're going to get what they need," parent JaLesa Thomas said. "With that being said, I'm praying that they will continue to do that because people like myself, we are depending on those savings. And those savings do save us a lot."
Virginia’s Sales Tax Holiday is August 5-7.
During that weekend, you can buy qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items without paying sales tax.
The National Retail Federation also notes one-third of consumers are already cutting back their spending to cover the cost of items for the upcoming school year.