Back to College Spending 2013: The Numbers from the National Retail Foundation Survey

(photo by flickr user Jimmie) 

The National Retail Foundation has gained tracked what families have planned for Back to College Spending for 2013. The total projected amount? $45.8 billion dollars.

If you follow these numbers from year to year, that number is 8.55% lower than last year’s overall retail number of $53.5 billion (an average budget of $907.22). The National Retail Foundation suggests that this decline shows caution about budgets, with 76.5% of college shoppers saying “the economy will impact their spending in some way.” College shoppers plan to save money by buying generic or store brand products (32%), shopping sales more often (37.5%), and, for many, by living at home (a projected 47.7% in 2013 vs 42.9% in 2012).

How does the overall “Back to College” budget break down? The projected $836.83 college shopper budget will be divided among the following categories:

  • Electronics: $203.28 (24.3% of budget)
  • Clothing and accessories: $122.70 (14.7%)
  • Dorm and apartment furnishings (including bedding & some home appliances): $104.76 (12.5%)
  • Food items: $104.44 (12.5%)
  • Shoes: $65.60 (7.8%)
  • Gift cards $65.12 (7.8%)
  • Personal care items $65.08 (7.8%)
  • School supplies $62.92 (7.5%)
  • Collegiate gear $42.94 (5.1%)

The National Retail Foundation also released this “Back to College” infographic, detailing what they found to be the three most interesting findings of their 2013 survey. Take a look at these findings below: