Back to College Spending 2014: The Numbers from the National Retail Foundation Survey

  (photo by flickr user Jimmie) The National Retail Foundation has agained tracked what families have planned for Back to College Spending for 2014. The total projected amount? $48.4 billion.

The National Retail Foundation has a gained tracked what families have planned for Back to College Spending for 2014. The total projected amount? $48.4 billion.

If you follow these numbers from year to year, that number is a significant increase from $45.8 billion dollars last year (an average budget of $916.48).

However, just because college budgets are increasing doesn’t indicate that families are happily throwing their money around. In fact, nearly 8 in 10 college shoppers said that “the economy will impact their spending in some way.” College shoppers plan to save money in many ways, including by living at home and by choosing a less expensive college. However, another growing trend continues to be shopping online. In fact, 33% of college families say they will online comparison shop in the hopes os saving some money.

How does the overall “Back to College” budget break down? The projected $916.48 college shopper budget will be divided among the following categories:

  • Electronics: $275.24
  • Clothing and accessories: $138.73
  • Dorm and apartment furnishings (including bedding & some home appliances): $96.70
  • Food items: $103.87
  • Shoes: $77.60
  • Gift cards: $55.56
  • Personal care items: $78.08
  • School supplies: $74.80
  • Collegiate gear: $47.36

Not done with your shopping yet? No worries; you’re certainly not alone. While about one-third of back-to-college shoppers begin two months early, and another third begin with three or four weeks to go, more than a quarter of all college shoppers wait for the remaining final two weeks before returning to college before beginning to shop.

See the full dataset here.