Parents Stretched Thin for Back-to-School Costs

In a normal year, most parents average about $100 per child for the backpack, pens, paper, notebooks, and the usual odds and ends for students.

This year it’s breaking the bank for many families, and the biggest culprit is the expense of a mandatory laptop for virtual classrooms.

Regina Conway is a consumer expert with, and says this year the average price spent per child is hovering at just over $750.

She says inexpensive laptops, something that might normally cost $300, have become scarce.

“Right now you’re looking at spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 and above to get something…today,” she says.And of course, the school supplies are needed today. Conway says parents have needed to upgrade their capabilities for remote work, mass closings have increased demand for gaming and entertainment laptops, and schools have unexpectedly switched to virtual learning. “And, bundle that in with the pandemic disrupting the computing industry’s supply chains, all of these components together make it difficult to find a new low-cost laptop,” says Conway.

photo: Getty Images

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