It seems like every week there’s a new article about millennial spending habits. Heck, I cover that demographic quite a bit in my writings. I’ve talked about their summer spending, credit card use, and their financial confidence – now I’m looking at their spending when it comes to back-to-school shopping.

44% of Canadian Millennial parents (aged 25 to 34) say that they plan to spend more this year on back-to-school shopping this year. That’s 10% higher than the average of 34% for all Canadian parents. This according to a new study by GFK.

back-to-school shopping

Even though Millennials are the most tech savvy group, the survey found that 79% of their shopping will be done in store, as opposed to 21% online. That’s still above the national average of 84% who prefer to shop in retail stores, and 16% online.

Electronics are still the most expensive item. Every kid wants a new computer, tablet, and cell phone, but as a parent, should you be giving in? Does your child really need new gadgets every year? Probably not. It’s a better idea to sit down and talk to them to figure out what they really need.

Funny enough, the survey found that 40% of parents said they research their back-to-school shopping online before making their purchases in store. This is kind of funny because usually the opposite happens. Many consumers use big box retailers as showrooms before making their purchases online where it’s normally cheaper. I guess with back-to-school things, the opposite is true. Plus, sometimes parents wait until the last minute to shop so they don’t have a choice but to rush to the stores.

The good thing is, shopping has never been easier. Just about every retailer seems to sell back-to-school supplies including grocery stores, where 75% of those surveyed say they plan to buy some of their stuff. Of course, traditional stores like big box shops still get a lot of love with 73% of those surveyed saying they’ll do some shopping there. Even dollar stores attract 71% of back-to-school shopper

Finally, 97% of Canadian parents say they plan on using at least one cost-saving tactic during the back-to-school season. 72% plan on buying things on sale, 48% say they will only buy what they need, 29% plan on reusing supplies, while 28% expect to rely more on coupons.

Being a parent is expensive and back-to-school shopping is arguably more expensive than Christmas. Be sure to manage your kids‘ expectations or else you could end up spending a small fortune. Check out my other post for more back-to-school saving tips – oh and school starts in less than a week. What are you waiting for?