Back To School Shopping Guide: What To Anticipate For Your High Schooler

As the new school year approaches, more and more parents are gearing themselves up for back-to-school shopping. If your child is entering one of the high schools in your local school catchment area, then you may be in for a bit of a surprise. Gone are the days when the only thing you had to worry about was a backpack and pencil case.

You might be surprised to find that there are much more things to pay for than you anticipated. Therefore, here is a list of some of the things you may have to find yourself paying for out-of-pocket.


In some school districts, parents are expected to pay the entire cost of extracurricular sports. Depending on the sport, this can include anything from buying mouthguards to jerseys. So, be sure to put aside at least a few thousand if you plan on encouraging your child to be a part of the athletic department.


Even though they may not be babies anymore, High schoolers are still going to experience a growth spurt. Therefore they will need clothes to keep up with their growing bodies.

Don’t forget that there are also a considerable amount of social pressures at this age to have the right look and wear the right brands. While that doesn’t mean that you need to go out and buy designer brand everything, they will likely need some decent clothes to wear which support their confidence.


Depending on the course, some classes require you to invest a considerable amount of money in textbooks.

These books are not cheap, either. However, an excellent way to save money on textbooks is to buy used. You can go places like Amazon to grab better deals on gently used materials for a fraction of the price.


Your high schooler will receive a list of materials for different classes. Classes like math may require specialized equipment like advanced calculators. Additionally, they’ll, of course, need traditional materials like pencils, pens, and binders for their papers.

Some classes may require a computer, so if you don’t own a computer for them to use freely already, then you may want to find a way to fit one into your budget!

Field Trips

Many classes offer field trips throughout the year. In some cases, it may be a trip to another country. While it’s usually optional, it can be a fantastic learning experience for your child, and an expense that you should seriously consider.

Musical instrument

Many schools require musical credits. If your high schooler opts for an instrument, then you’ll need to either rent or buy one for them.

Depending on the instrument, the total cost could be a significant amount of money.  

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