September 19, 2008
Huntington Bank Finds School Costs Underestimated
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In an online survey of more than 600 students heading to elementary school through 12th grade this fall, Huntington Bank found that 56 percent of students underestimated the cost of buying classroom and extracurricular activity supplies. The survey also found that among high school students: * 23 percent said they didn't know how to write a check
* 16 percent said they didn't know how a debit card works
* 39 percent said they didn't understand the concept of paying interest on a loan.
The 2008 Huntington Backpack Index indicates that parents need to be prepared to spend $385 for elementary school children, $551 for middle school children and $911 for high school students. Yet, more than half of respondents said they think it costs less than $300 per child and almost 40 percent said they think their parents spend less than $200 a child.
"Huntington recognizes that purchasing school supplies is a big part of the family budget for summer," said Mary Navarro, regional banking group president at Huntington Bank. "Huntington also realizes that each year many young people graduate from high school without basic knowledge of finances. We recommend that families use the Huntington Backpack Index to begin teaching children, even those in kindergarten, about budgeting, saving and paying for those supplies needed for the classroom and extracurricular activities."
In other findings:
24 percent of survey respondents said their schools are adding high- tech tools such as flash drives to the school supply shopping list.
Only eight percent of responding students have to bring a laptop to class, but more than 60 percent would like a laptop to be a requirement.
The Huntington Backpack Index is also a reference for smart shopping to teach older children about budgeting and bargains to spend within family financial resources.
Shopping advice includes:
* Try to beat the average prices listed in the 2008 Huntington Backpack Index when possible through local or online deals.
* Talk honestly about what your family can afford to spend on upgrades and extras for back-to-school.
* Assign tasks for back-to-school shopping preparation, such as couponclipping and online price checks, to your kids.
* Consider setting up individual bank accounts for children or give them cash so they can personally shop within or under budget, under your guidance.
* Find out about the financial education your children are receiving at school and incorporate personal lessons utilizing your local bank if you think they need it.
The Huntington Backpack Index survey focused on students located in the bank's primary service region of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
"We recommend that families use the Huntington Backpack Index to begin teaching children, even those in kindergarten, about budgeting, saving and paying for those supplies needed for the classroom and extracurricular activities."
Copyright Public Relation Enterprises, Inc. Aug 2008
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