You’re probably gearing up for getting the kids back to school in a number of ways: nabbing that Frozen or Hercules backpack before it sells out, replacing jeans that have risen to flood length and ticking off all the items on the school supply list. But have you socked away funds for extracurricular activities?
RetailMeNot’s most recent poll found that while parents plan to spend upward of $650 per child during the school year, almost $400 of that will be attributed to activities outside the classroom! You may have budgeted for cleats and shin guards for soccer, but you’ll also need to be prepared for additional activities that may pique your child’s interest throughout the year.
The survey found that many parents end up spending less on items for themselves, like clothing or shoes (56 percent), dining out (55 percent) and vacations (49 percent), to accommodate costs associated with their child’s education.
To take some of the heat off yourself on the extracurricular front, make this a teachable moment for your kids. Set budgetary limits on what they can participate in, yet allow them to personally contribute for any activities that go above and beyond the budget. They can earn money for glee club or an extra sport by doing chores around the house, like mowing the lawn, vacuuming, caring for younger siblings or washing the car—things you barely have the time to do yourself and/or end up paying someone else to do anyway!
But never fear, back to school isn’t all bad! Our survey found that nearly all parents look forward to at least one thing when their child goes back to school in the fall, namely a more regular schedule (51 percent), extra time to themselves (34 percent), a quieter home (28 percent) and not having to keep their child occupied during the day (27 percent). Be sure to enjoy these perks—you’ve earned them!