Looking to save money on extracurricular activities? I’ve got the tips you need.
Getting your kids involved in extracurricular activities helps them both socially and physically. It teaches them the importance of teamwork and discipline. They have an opportunity to develop skills and learn self confidence.
While these are great for kids and often activities parents encourage, they can be a bit taxing on the wallet. There are ways to save money on both fees and even equipment and items needed for participation.
Saving Money on Fees
Join school activities. Many times, the events sponsored by the school have little to no fees at all. These are a great way to get to know kids in the school. It helps them get to know the kids who are not in their classes.
Register early. The saying goes “The early bird gets the worm.” So is the case if you get your child registered early. Many programs offer a discount of upwards of 30% if you sign up early.
Check out community centers / city groups. Were we live, there is a parks and recreation department. This group puts together classes and sports teams. The idea is not to compete to win, but rather, to teach and educate kids on the principals of the game. They also allow kids to explore ideas and show case talents they may not have a chance to use otherwise. The cost to join is often less than high end or competitive leagues. It is also the perfect way to introduce your child to something new.
Barter. If you know dance, you might be able to volunteer to help out at your daughter’s dance class in return for reduced lessons. You might even find a way to help them advertise for free, help with the front desk or other ways to get a discount on the lessons your child needs.
Try it first. Before you commit to a contract, check to see if your child can try a class or two first. Once you and your child get a feel for the class and the instructors, you will feel better about making the financial commitment.
Saving Money on Equipment
Check out second hand stores. If you need to purchase any type of sporting equipment, stores such as Play It Again Sports, are the perfect way to save money. Since kids tend to lose interest fast, this allows you a way to afford the purchase, without too much investment. In addition, you can turn around sell items your child no longer uses.
Use discounted gift cards. If you need to purchase new equipment, you usually need it when it is not on sale. A simple way to save money is to make your purchase with discounted gift cards. When you pay less for the value of a gift card, it is money right back in your pocket.
Ask a friend or family member. Check around with other friends and neighbors who may have children who have played the same sport. They may find the ballet slippers are sitting at the bottom of their daughter’s closet and may just give them to you.
My daughter wanted to learn to play the fiddle, and so we were able to get my aunt’s sent to us and just paid to get it restrung (and for a new bow).
Craigslist or Ebay. You can find just about any type of equipment needed for any sport online at Ebay or even Craigslist. From baseball bats to tap shoes, you can often find what you need at a discount. When you are done, you can also use these same sites to sell your own items.
Rent items. Don’t rush out and purchase a brand new instrument for your child’s band lessons. Look to rent one for a few months to ensure it is something your child really wants to do.
Getting your child involved in extracurricular activities is a way to help them grow and develop skills they will need later in life. However, don’t allow yourself to get so caught up that you end up spending more than your budget allows.