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Coinstar Survey Reveals Parents Get Creative to Cover Back-to-School Costs

Parents creating a back-to-school budget increases each year One-third of respondents would consider crowdfunding to cover certain school costs
BELLEVUE, Wash. - 
July 16, 2019

The Coinstar® Back-to-School Survey, conducted among 1,004 U.S. parents, was released today and reports that nearly three in five parents say they’re stressed about back-to-school and the top stressor is school-related costs. Two-thirds (66%) of parents surveyed create a back to school budget compared to 57% in 2017. Budget pressure is prompting parents to consider creative ways to combat rising costs, survey results show.

Creative solutions to rising school costs

Of parents who report back-to-school stress, two-thirds (66%) reveal it’s related to school costs. That may explain why parents are finding creative solutions to lower stress and better manage costs. The survey reports these findings:

  • 33% say they would consider a crowdfunding platform like GoFundMe or Kickstarter to pay for extracurricular school activities or school trips
  • 68% have planned to make school lunches for their kids to save money
  • 57% would consider or are planning on cashing in spare change to help offset school costs
  • 69% of parents who shop without their kids stay on budget

Clothing expenses top the list for back to school

Clothing is the biggest back-to-school ticket item by far with 59% of parents saying this is the largest anticipated expense; followed by school supplies and extracurricular fees and equipment, both at 16%.

According to the Coinstar Back-to-School Survey, shopping for back to school is a top anxiety driver for parents who say they are stressed by the return of the school year.

Regarding spending per child on back-to-school expenses, 45% of respondents plan to spend between $101 and $300, while 24% plan to spend less than $100, and 17% between $301 and $500. Most parents say they will use cash on hand to pay for school costs.

Could Uber be the trendy way to send kids to school?

 A new age may be changing the way parents send their kids to school. According to the Coinstar Back-to-School Survey, nearly one in four (23%) of parents with kids in the 6th through 12th grades would allow their child to take a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft to and from school.

Survey Methodology

 Coinstar commissioned Atomik Research to run an online survey of 1,004 parents of school-aged children in the United States to determine attitudes surrounding back-to-school shopping. The margin of error fell within +/- 3 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent.  The fieldwork took place between May 30th and 31st, 2019. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency.

 About Coinstar, LLC

 Based in Bellevue, Wash., Coinstar owns and operates the largest fully automated, multi-national network of self-service coin counting kiosks. With more than 21,000 kiosk locations, Coinstar provides convenient and reliable coin counting services at mass merchants, grocery and drug stores and financial institutions. Consumer solutions include coin-to-cash, coin-to-eGift card and charity donation options. For kiosk locations and information, visit


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Mpact Group
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