Back to School Spending

August 13, 2014 Updated Aug 13, 2014 at 7:55 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

August 13, 2014 Updated Aug 13, 2014 at 7:55 AM EDT

If you haven't started back to school shopping yet, chances are you're behind. Halloween candy is already on store shelves!

And retailers didn't waste any time getting back to school sales going this year. Most began even before the 4th of July.

This year, the National Retail Federation says parents are expected to spend about 5 percent more than last year, an average of $670 on kindergarten through 12th grade students.

But researchers say overall spending will dip to $26.5 billion because there are slightly fewer students in households.

Add in back to college costs and spending will reach $75 billion.

A record number of savvy shoppers will use smartphones this year. The NRF survey shows that 37 percent will research school items with their phones while 22 percent will make purchases on their phones, which is up four percent from last year.

Consider the elementary level, the NRF says clothing and accessories will cost the most about $205. Then shoes will add up to about $102. School supplies like notebooks and pencils are just under $100, while electronics are nearly $179.

That brings the grand total to nearly $581 for elementary students.

The numbers go up as the students get older with average spending at the high school level at about $683.

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