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As homeschooling becomes an increasingly enticing option for parents who don't want to battle a classroom full of COVID-19 cases this year, making sure the home can turn into a sustainable learning environment for their little learners might take some extra equipment around the kitchen table – and that takes some serious cash.

Back-to-school shopping used to be stopping by the pencils and pocket folders on the way through the grocery store, but it's 2020, and this tax-free weekend is sure to see some top-dollar purchases. The National Retail Federation (NRF) conducts an annual survey that works to gauge how consumers are feeling right before the beginning of a new academic year.

With 7,481 respondents between July 1 and July 8, it found that an anticipated $33.9 billion – yes, billion with a B – will go into the economy by way of at-home learning preparation. Individually, it is expecting to see spending of about $789 per family.

The NRF has been conducting these polls for 17 years, and this is a record-breaking figure. The previous maximum prediction was a mere $30.3 billion in 2012, and last year's prediction was even less with a projected $26.2 billion.

The idea is that parents and students will be taking advantage of the technology that's included in the back-to-school tax holiday, as having a basic toolkit of up-to-date machines and accessories could make or break a student's at-home learning experience.

“By any measure, this is an unprecedented year with great uncertainty, including how students will get their education this fall whether they are in kindergarten or college,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement to CNBC on July 15.

Citing the NRF's survey, here are the things consumers are looking to purchase so their students' school year can be viable, even from the dinner table:

  • Laptop (36%)
  • Speakers/headphones (22%)
  • Electronics accessories, like adapters or portable hard drives (21%)
  • Workbooks (17%)
  • Desk/desk chair (17%)
  • Calculator (17%)
  • Printer (17%)
  • Tablet (15%)

To read the full survey from the NRF, click here.


Did You Know You Can Buy THIS Tax-Free in Alabama July 17-19?


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