The personal-finance website WalletHub today released its 2019 Back-to-School Shopping Report, which includes the results of a new nationwide survey as well as picks for this year’s Best Credit Cards for Back-to-School Shopping. WalletHub’s back-to-school resources also include a Sales-Tax Holiday Calendar highlighting the best times to buy in each state.
Back-to-school season can be very expensive, and we could all use some extra ways to save. But it won’t just be parents and teachers packing new plastic on the first day of school this year. Millions of children will have credit cards in their pocket or bookbag when the first bell rings. Parents aren’t quite on the same page about whether their kids will have credit cards in homeroom, however. Nearly 3X more dads than moms say their children will have a credit card at the start of the school year, according to WalletHub’s new survey. There are several other takeaways for parents and educators, too.
- 42% of moms think kids should get their first credit card at the age of 21. The same percentage of dads say it should be age 18.
- Dads are more likely than moms (65% vs 58%) to think their kids’ education is worth going into debt.
- 48% of parents say students should be paid for good grades.
- 2019’s best credit cards for back-to-school shopping are:
- Nearly 3X more parents say Walmart is the best place to do back-to-school shopping than Amazon.com.
- Sales tax holidays will be held in 15 states at different times during July and August, offering savings of up to 7.00% on popular back-to-school items.
Q&A with WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou
Why do 3X more dads than moms believe their child will have a credit card in their pocket on the first day of school?
“There’s obviously a lack of communication in play here,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Whenever possible, parents should take the time to discuss the pros and cons of giving their children credit cards before doing so, and everyone should be on the same page. Parents should also fully explain the final decision to their kids, both to lay the ground rules and because it will help promote their financial literacy.”
Why do you think most moms say kids should get their first credit card at the age of 21, while dads say it should be 18?
“Moms tend to be more protective and may therefore want to shield their kids more from financial hardships for as long as they can,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Of course, everyone’s situation is different.”
Is it a good sign for the economy that 1 in 3 people plan to spend more on back-to-school shopping this year than in 2018?
“Increased spending may seem like it would be a sign of a strong economy, but it could actually be another crack in the foundation,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “It’s hard to view projections for record-setting consumer spending in a positive light when consumers already owe more than $1 trillion to credit card companies and have even more student debt. People need to be saving where they can now so they’ll have an easier time affording school-related expenses, and everything else, in the future.”