School’s Out: How American Kids “Spend” the Summer

  School’s Out: How American Kids “Spend” the Summer

        Parents to Spend $55 Billion to Keep Kids Active and Educated

 Royal Baby Buzz Drives Gender Speculation, More Americans Say “It’s a Girl!”

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- July 18, 2013

As children across the US get knee-deep into the summer, parents expect to
spend an average of $856 per child on summer activities, up 40% from 2012,
according to the most recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. This
amounts to an expected $55 billion spent in the US on keeping kids busy,
entertained and educated during the off-school months. Additionally, more than
a third (35%) of teens sought out summertime employment. Yet, not all spending
money will come from summer-time paychecks. Parents are giving kids a hefty
raise, as the average weekly allowance rose to $32 per week, up almost 70%
from 2012.

Download and view the Spending & Saving Tracker

All summer activities for kids are on the rise, from pool memberships to day
camp. The top five activities and anticipated average dollar spend, per child,

                              % of Americans       % increase
Activity                                                   Avg. spend
                              who plan to          from 2012
1. Day Trips (e.g.           71%                  13%              $284
Theme parks):
2. Sports Teams:             44%                  29%              $228
3. Pool or Club              36%                  50%              $157
4. Education or Arts         33%                  27%              $227
5. Day Camp:                 26%                  24%              $314
6. Sleep Away Camp:          23%                  35%              $329

Working Hard for their Money: Summer Jobs and Chores

While kids play, many teenagers will enter the workforce this summer.
Thirty-five percent of parents (up from 32% in 2012) say their teens’ primary
source of spending money will come from a summer job.

To earn their cash, teens will turn to fast food service (27%), grocery stores
(16%), landscaping (15%), babysitting (12%) and waiting tables (11%), and
expect to earn an average of $456.

No matter what their summer job plans, 96% of parents say their kids are
responsible for summer chores regardless of age. Similar to their
responsibilities in years past, kids are expected to handle typical household
chores for the summer, including:

1.Cleaning their room (87%)
2.Taking out the trash and recycling (65%)
3.Doing the dishes (57%)
4.Pet care (56%)
5.Laundry (38%)

While their chores may stay the same, kids who get allowance can expect a
hefty raise and will make nearly 70% more this summer: average weekly
allowances have hit $32, up from $19 in 2012. Sixty-five percent of parents
say they base allowances on chores completed, but many are placing more weight
on grades (45%) and age (42%) when determining allowances, compared to 38% and
37% respectively one year ago.

Planning for their Child’s Success

Whether kids and teens earn money through a summer job, good grades or the
completion of chores, the overall lesson is the value of a dollar. In theme
with the recent American Express LifeTwist study, parents were asked what
factors are most important to their child’s success in life. Most parents
(88%) ranked “knowing how to spend their money well” as the second most
important factor to their child’s success, preceded only by being in good
health (90%). Overall, parents seem to just want their kids to be both
financially savvy and live a fulfilling, happy life. The top five contributors
to their child’s future success, as ranked by parents:

Being in good health                                             90%
Knowing how to spend their money well                                  88%
Finding the time for the important things in life                      88%
Having a good balance between work and their personal life             87%
Making the time to pursue their passions and interests                 85%

Expecting & Expecting to Spend

The royal family isn’t the only one expecting this year, and while there’s
been a lot of attention around how the royal birth will affect consumer
spending in the U.K., many American families are expecting newborn expenses of
their own. With added family members, comes added expenses, and the expecting
expect a 43% increase in monthly household expenses after their new arrival.
While they aren’t far off, newborn expenses may actually be slightly less –
new parents claim their household expenses rose about 39%.

As parents succumb to nesting instincts, they have spent the most on items for
the nursery ($263) and baby gear ($226) followed by baby clothes ($150) and
supplies such as diapers and baby oil ($139). With 30% of Americans attending
baby showers this year, many of these parents can expect some support from
friends and family in the form of baby clothes, the preferred gift for most
attendees. Baby gear (19%), baby supplies (18%) and baby clothes are favored
as gifts by expecting parents.

In addition to supplies, 75% of expecting and new parents are budgeting for
some level of childcare. Most will opt for the occasional babysitter (42%) or
daycare (40%), while nearly a quarter of Americans (23%) will ante up for a
full or part-time nanny.

Expecting or not, Americans eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Royal Baby
and many have guesses on the gender. Forty-nine percent speculate that the
couple will have a little girl, while 37% predict a bouncing baby boy.

About the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker

The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online
among a random sample of 2,200 adults, including the general U.S. population,
as well as an Affluent demographic defined by a minimum annual household
income of $100,000, and parents with children under the age of 18.
Interviewing was conducted by Ebiquity, formerly Echo Research, between June
14 and 19, 2013. The results reported in this release have a margin of error
of +/- 2.9 among parents of children under 18 and +/- 4.1 among teenagers
(13-17) at the 95 percent level of confidence.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access
to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business
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About Ebiquity Plc

Ebiquity provides independent data-driven insights to global media, marketing
and communications professionals to continuously improve clients' business
performance. This includes specialized services in research supporting
creative testing, brand/advertising tracking, corporate reputation, brand
image, research for public relations and thought leadership, global
media/social media content analysis, and communications research. Ebiquity
acquired Echo Research in May, 2011 and Echo officially started conducting
business under the Ebiquity name on July 1, 2013. Learn more at


American Express
Melanie Backs, 212-640-2164
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