That is the amount the average person with children in grades kindergarten to 12th grade is expected to spend this year on back-to-school shopping, according to the National Retail Federation's annual back-to-school spending survey.
Last year, the survey predicted families would spend $603.63.
"With more children entering elementary and middle school this fall and after cutting back their spending last year, parents with growing children will hit the stores this summer to replace and replenish what their children might have had to “make-do” with last school season," according to a NRF press release.
Parents surveyed said they would spend the most on clothing, accessories, and electronics this summer as the first day of school approahces.
The survey found the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend $246.10 on clothes, $217.88 on electronics, $129.20 on shoes, and $95.44 on school supplies — such as notebooks, pencils and backpacks.
In addition, about six in 10 people said they would invest in some sort of electronic device, according to the survey. This is up from 51.9 percent who planned to buy an electronic device last year.
During a meeting last year that focused on district finances, New Lenox School District 122 board member Deb Kedzior raised the issue of school supply costs. She asked if there was anything the district could do to cut costs.
Associate Supt. Peggy Manville said a team of people in the district already looks at those costs every year. Other board members said fussing over school supply lists was micromanaging, and that parents could work to find the best deals. The New Lenox PTO also organizes bundles for parents to purchase all of the supplies at a set cost.
Tell us in the comments: Have you started your back-to-school shopping? Are you spending more or less this school season? Do you have any creative ideas on how to save on back-to-school shopping? Will you buy some sort of electronic device for your child this year? Do you think $688 is a reasonable amount of money to spend for back-to-school shopping?
—Michael Sewall contributed to this article.