SOUTHERN COLORADO — Students and parents have less than a month to get prepared for school, and studies are now showing this school year could hurt your wallet more than any other school year.

“Now as we’re entering back to school time, we’re going to see an increase of costs of back to school supplies for all ages of kids from elementary into college,” said Keith Lobis, regional banking director for Colorado Wells Fargo.

Projections for costs of these supplies are the highest we have seen so far.

“Elementary-age kids… parents will spend about 850 dollars this year on going back to school. And for college-aged kids it’s even higher at 12-hundred,” Lobis said.

Some things that experts recommend is having a plan when you shop, keep track of how much you’re spending and buy in bulk. Another thing you can do is getting connected on social media.

“There you’ll find parents who’ve already had the experience and they’ll provide those tips and tricks that will really help you to save money or even avoid purchasing things that may not be necessary.”

One way a teacher in Walsenburg is helping parents save with back-to-school spending is by having people donate for a cause for her birthday.

“In lieu of gifts this year, instead of getting me a birthday gift, please donate to my classroom to help my little flamingos out,” said Sharona Whitley, a Second-grade teacher at Peakview Elementary.

Whitley said her goal is to raise a thousand dollars before the school year begins to help out her students with back-to-school shopping.

“It’s really expensive,” Whitley said. “I mean, I’m a parent. My son’s in preschool. I know what it’s like to try to get these supplies. It’s really expensive and sometimes it’s hard to find these supplies.”

Whitley said she has other goals as well.

“I really want the kids to have books. Not because I’m forcing them to read a certain number of pages in this book but because they got a book this month and they get to take it home and it’s theirs and I think that’d be really cool, I’m getting chills just talking about it.”