A new study from American Express reports that while parents say they will not scrimp on what kids need to start the school year, it won't be painless: They'll cut back on restaurant spending, entertaining, and their own clothing.

The average family of four expects to spend $800 on back-to-school shopping. But 67% say they will make financial trade-offs to cover it, including dining out less (53%), spending less on entertainment (39%), and buying less clothes for themselves (37%).

Clothing is expected to be the largest expense, at $290, with another $110 for shoes and $100 for school supplies. (Many parents say they are forking over more for these, as schools cut back on what they provide to kids.) But braces (at about $2,000) and new computers and laptops ($830) are also on many parents' minds.

Unlike last year, the survey also shows a slight uptick in spending on designer clothes, with 68% of parents planning to buy big-brand sneakers, 66% buying designer jeans, and 53% buying high-end shoes.

Another change this year -- and a sign that parents are a little less cost-focused -- is that significantly less (24%) parents say they will shop at outlet or discount stores. Some 38% plan to head to department stores. Plenty will shop online as well, with 31% saying they do so because of coupons and deals and 21% to avoid the hassles.

Source: Marketing Daily
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