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Capital One's Back-to-School Survey Shows Annual Shopping Excursions are a Missed Opportunity for Parents to Help Kids Pass the Financial Education Test

July 19, 2004 at 9:06 AM EDT

Annual Survey Highlights the Importance of Learning to Shop and Shopping to Learn

MCLEAN, Va., July 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Capital One's fourth annual back-to-school shopping survey shows that parents are missing out on a perfect opportunity to talk to their kids about how to make the most of their shopping dollars. According to the survey more than 81 percent of high school and middle school students expect their parents to join them on back-to-school shopping trips, but nearly 85 percent say their parents have not taken the time to discuss their back-to-school finances with them. The survey also shows that nearly 60 percent of parents plan to spend more than $125 per child, but only 20 percent have discussed a back-to-school budget with their child.

"Back-to-school shopping trips represent a perfect opportunity for parents to give students a real life lesson on money management. The shopping season will allow young people to practice budgeting and planning before their skills are put to the test in adulthood," says Diana Don Colby, Director of Financial Education at Capital One. "When students make budgeting and purchasing decisions alongside their parents, they build good money management skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives."

How are parents and teens buying?

More than 56 percent of teens are planning to contribute to the bill with almost 70 percent responding that the money will come from their jobs. Parents plan to pay for back-to-school purchases with cash (78%) rather than credit cards (26.5%).

"More and more young people are earning their own income and wanting to make their own financial decisions. This makes it even more important for them to develop good money management skills early on," adds Don Colby. "By contributing their own funds to the back-to-school budget, students have a vested interest in their purchases -- purchases that will range between needs and wants."

What are they buying?

Traditional school supplies such as notebooks, pens and pencils and clothes top back-to-school shopping lists this fall. Less than seven percent of parents and only two percent of students expect to shop for a new computer. Surprisingly, more than 80 percent of high school and middle school students responded that they would not be looking for a specific brand when shopping for back-to-school.

Financial Education Help

In an effort to help educate parents and students, Capital One offers easy-to-understand consumer education resources on topics such as budgeting and developing spending plans. Educational materials are free and can be accessed from the "Managing Your Money" link located in the Customer Center area of the Capital One home page at For additional online resources, parents and students can visit and search the "clearinghouse" for curriculum and education materials from the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.

Survey Methodology

For the Back-to-School poll, Braun Research was engaged to conduct 1154 interviews, 654 interviews with parents of teens age 13-17 and 500 interviews with teens also age 13-17. Many of the teen interviews were with the same household as the adult household interviews. Surveys were conducted by telephone from July 2nd through July 6th, though excluding July 4th. The margin of error for the parent interviews is plus or minus 3.8% percentage points. The margin of error for the teens is plus or minus 4.4%. Interviews were monitored at random.

Sampling for this study was conducted using a random digit dialing method covering the 48 contiguous states in the United States. All interviews were conducted using a computer assisted telephone interviewing system. Statistical weights were designed from current year population estimates. These weights were based on the statistical database facilities of Claritas, the leading analytical database provider of Census based statistical demographic data.

About Capital One

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) ( is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products and Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., offers automobile and other motor vehicle financing products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 46.7 million managed accounts and $71.8 billion in managed loans outstanding as of March 31, 2004. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index.

SOURCE Capital One

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