ROB CARRICK The Globe and Mail Published Monday, Sep. 05, 2016 4:42PM EDT Last updated Monday, Sep. 05, 2016 9:18PM EDT 6

Jahnome McEwan plans to go through the entirety of 2017 without spending on anything but necessities and a dinner out now and then with his girlfriend. Spending on everything else – clothes, electronics, socializing with friends – is out.

“We’ve been trying to figure out ways we can save our money,” the York University student said in an interview. “We decided, let’s just do a complete paradigm shift and not spend at malls at all. Don’t buy clothing, don’t buy anything for a full year. See how much we can save, see how much we can invest. Do the complete opposite of what’s going on.”

Right now, what’s going on is a back-to-school season that ranks second only to winter holiday shopping in terms of how much we spend. Inflation’s up 1.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis, yet a recent poll of 1,506 parents suggested spending on school supplies, clothes and such will on average rise 43 per cent over last year. The poll, commissioned by coupon website RetailMeNot.ca, pegged average spending at $472 per child.

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