Does your head begin to spin when friends talk about club volleyball and their kids being on the traveling team for soccer? Are you a parent who gets concerned thinking about the money spent so that your child makes it on swim team or is getting the best piano lessons?
While being a parent can sometimes get expensive, there are some ways that, with some planning, activities don't have to break the bank. Here are 6 great ways to save on your kids’ activities…
6 Great Ways to Save on Your Kids’ Activities
What's the Purpose?
What is the ultimate goal of your child being in a specific group?
If it's to learn to work with others or to gain interest in a new hobby, choosing a lesser-expensive place to take classes may be the best way to go.
If your goal is, however, for your child to become a professional athlete, musician, etc., choosing a more professional setting for those activities may be the best route.
When making a family decision about starting a new activity, always get your child's input about why she wants to give it a try. Such conversations will help you to determine if you should enroll her in park district or in private lessons.
Check out Your Park District
Park districts offer a large variety of programs for children and adults alike. Whether your child has interest in music, cooking, or martial arts, there are likely programs offered to match that interest. Park district programs are typically less costly than private lessons or classes and allow participants to get to know others who live in the area (also making them a great source for new play dates!)
Look at Library Programs
While library programs typically are shorter-term, workshops or classes offered can help your child to learn something new, while meeting new people. They tend to be very reasonably-priced. Whether your child has interest in a specific author, joining a reading contest or in technology, chances are good that there will be something available that grabs her attention.
Take Advantage of School Clubs and Activities
Schools can also be a great resource for clubs and other extra-curricular activities. While some may require membership fees, activities that are run through schools are typically inexpensive. Your child may be able to learn how to play an instrument, join book clubs, or become active in student council through school programs. Talking with your child about the things that she finds interesting at school may help you to guide her toward those extra-curriculars that would be good matches.
Consider Gently-Used Supplies
Once you ™ve chosen the kinds of activities your child will be starting, consider seeking gently used materials at a resale shop or online. Think of all of the kids who quickly outgrow ballet shoes or give up on that baseball team. There are lots of supplies out there that you can buy for a fraction of what you would spend at the store ¦and many of them have only been used a handful of times (if at all).
Set a Limit on the Number of Activities
When thinking about the activities that your child will be beginning, consider what you think to be a good number of things going on at any given time. Think about the demands of school, church, and home, and then consider how much time you want your child to put into new hobbies. Remember that your child also needs to eat, sleep, and play. Limiting the number of activities will prevent burnout, as well as will keep your family from investing money in more activities than your child can personally handle.
Have you found other ways to save? Please share your thoughts on ways to save on your kids’ activities!
Sarah is a stay-at-home mom of two wonderful children on a mission to prove that you don’t have to have tons of money to live a quality life. From homeless to well-off, this single debt-free mom is most known for her ability to live well on $18k/year. Sarah blogs at Saving Money Never Goes Out of Style, where she loves encouraging others that dreams do come true if they are willing to consistently work for it. Find Sarah on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.