As school starts up again, so do all of the after school activities. The more fun kids have, the more money it costs. Managing the costs of after school activities is one smart way to avoid credit card debt. Learn how to balance these costs in your budget with a few simple steps.
How to Budget for After School Activities
Budgeting for after-school activities is an achievable financial goal with a little planning and discipline. First of all, make sure you have a working detailed budget in place for your household. This budget should include all income and all expenses, including debt reduction payments.
Once you have a solid budget in place, ask your kids what activities they would like to participate in for the upcoming school year. Talk with coaches and school staff to figure out the costs that you might not be too sure of. If you can’t get a hold of anyone at the school or other experienced parents, make an educated guess for the time being.
Now that you have an idea of what each child wants, go back to your household budget. What areas can be cut back to free up some cash? There may not be enough money to cover everyone’s activities. Make a plan to share the funds. Have an honest conversation with your kids about the limits of a budget. Maybe they have a creative solution or wouldn’t mind getting a part-time job to contribute.
Long-term Saving for Activities
A great way to make it possible for the kids to participate in a lot of activities is to have a long-term savings plan. By setting aside a little money each month throughout the year, you will be ready with cash to fund after school activities.
Let’s assume someone participating on a sports team needs about $200 for the season. Maybe they need cleats and other equipment for around $100, game drinks and snacks for $50 and other related expenses for another $50.
Here is the budgeting schedule for that amount:
$200/3 months of saving= $67/month
$200/5 months of savings= $40/month
$200/8 months of savings= $25/month
As you can see, the amount needed each month can be as little as $25 with 8 months of savings. Making the cost of after school activities part of your budget all year round can help keep this fund steady and manageable.