How to Save Money on Kids’ Activities

Our modern world offers a number of options when it comes to activities for kids. Unfortunately, many of these activities cost money. From sports to music to the arts, there is usually an outlay of cash when your kids participate in activities. The more activities that your child participates in, the more expensive it will be for you.

You don’t have to forgo these extracurricular activities, though. Here are some things you can do to reduce the cost involved:

Make Your Kids Choose

My son has to limit the activities he participates in. He can choose one arts, one sports, and two other self-improvement activities. For years, he’s chosen piano lessons, baseball, 4-H, and Scouting. I might allow him to add another instrument if he is interested in band as he ages, though.

I know some families that complain that they are in debt because their kids have a sport for every season, and their kids are involved in all sorts of activities. If things get too busy, my son might have choose. He might have to drop Scouting in favor of a school club he wants to join.

Not only can you keep your children from becoming over-scheduled, but you can also save money because you won’t have so many activities to pay for. If your budget is tight, you might have to teach your kids that they have to prioritize, and that they sometimes have to make hard choices.

Have Your Kids Help Pay for Activities

My parents had me earn my own money to pay for some of my activities. If I wanted to do something extra, I needed to come up with the extra funds. I taught piano lessons during high school so that I could pay for other activities. My parents made clear what they would pay for, and if I wanted to go beyond, I had to be creative about how to get the money.

You can also look for other ways to encourage them to reduce overall household expenses in other ways. My parents made it clear that if we wanted to keep with extracurricular activities, we needed to maintain the grades that resulted in a good student discount on car insurance. That was one way to ensure that we kept our grades up, and that our parents could save money. If we couldn’t ensure the good student discount as children, my parents saved money by cutting out some of the activities.

Look for Discount Equipment

Finally, if equipment is involved, you can look for discount or secondary equipment. My parents rented instruments for us during school. If we showed interest, they bought inexpensive student versions. Now, if my son chooses, he can use my old saxophone and clarinet. You can also find sporting equipment and clothing on a second-hand basis in order to save money.

There are also programs, in some states, and charities as well, that offer low-income participants help paying for equipment and fees.

It’s possible to save money when it comes to your kids’ activities, as long as you are willing to prioritize and be creative about how you pay for what you need to buy.

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.