Remember when we wrote about buying clothes for girls when you’re broke? Well, if you’re still broke – which most of us are when we have kids (even if our income tax returns don’t quite reflect that) – and you’re heading into a season of summer sports and activities, you’re about to find life gets a whole lot more expensive and you’re probably pulling your hair out trying to determine how you can afford to do it all.
You know, you’ve got your kids whining (errrr, asking?) if they can go to horseback riding camp, take swimming lessons, or play baseball. You know that these are activities that would enrich their lives. You also know that it’s going to be a very long summer if you don’t get them out of your hair while they’re out of school for the season.
So, even if you don’t think you can afford to do it all, desperate times come to desperate measures and there are ways you can make it work for the sake of your sanity.
- Find ways to save on activities - many children’s activity programs offer discounts if you register early. They want to have registration completed well in advance, that way they know whether the program is worth running, and so they can staff it accordingly. What these activity programs also know is that parents just are not well-organized in advance without motivation, after all, we’re extremely BUSY! But money is motivation, so they offer these discounts. Seriously, they do, you might just not know it if you’ve never asked early enough. So, try it, you may find that you get something out of it that helps your budget on your kids’ activities!
- Save on other things for the kids – even if you’re saving on things that are unrelated to the activities, you can “find” money by saving on the kids’ usual expenses if you are a smart shopper. If you’re sneaky enough about it, the kids will never notice that anything’s changed in their lives either. If you promised your little boy or girl a room makeover if they get good grades, that’s still an option. Just look for a Pottery Barn Kids promo code instead of buying furniture and decor at full price. You can also shop wisely for their summer clothes, using some of the tips you learned when you read my other blog about how to cut back on kid-related expenses. Your kids won’t know the difference, but you will when you have extra money available to you.
- Spend less on activity-related equipment - there are coupons at NerdWallet and other coupon and discount sites that can help you reduce the cost of sporting equipment, and virtually anything else kids might need when they are getting out of the house. If your kid is trying a new activity for the first time, it’s also wise not to drop a bundle because they might only use that baseball bat for one season and decided they’d rather do ballet instead. You can buy used, shop when there are sales or use coupons to help save money.
If you implement these tips, you might just find that your kids and all things that you have to provide them with are a little less expensive.