Just wondering, how much do you spend on your kids' extracurricular activities per month?

Shilpa - posted on 10/10/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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Trying to figure out how much I should budget for my 2 kids. Do you limit the number of activities per kid or do you keep a specific budget for extra-curricular activities?

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Jeffery - posted on 01/23/2014

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I'm at a funny crossroads... When we went to court (after our daughter was 8), they requested that after child support I pay %60 of her extra curricular fees, I was working 24 days on 4 off and brought to the courts attention that her mother does all the driving and planning and so on that I feel it's necessary I pay %100 of her extras, dance and camps in the summer. I've been reading through your posts and my last total for 2013 was $7000+!!! Is this normal for dance and two $300 camps a year? I guess what I mean to ask is this "within reason" for one child?

Valarie - posted on 10/24/2012

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OK - I replied a while back....check out how things have changed!



I have two children (nine year old twins). My daughter is on the competition dance team. That is $145 per month - not including costumes, which are roughly $600 per year. She is a recreation dancer too - so her rec costumes are roughly $200 per year. Competition dances, travel, so there is gas, hotel, and food expences as well. This is for 1 or two weekends a month, six months out of the year. They both take music lessons. That is $130 per month, for 9 months out of the year. My son plays club basketball at $150 per season, plus facility rental fees which are about $25 per month. He also plays flag footbal - only $40 per season! During the summer, monthly fees tend to go up becuase they are in more intensive activities..... For example, Nike Elite Basketball camp is rougly $150 - $200 per month in the summer. If my daughter does ballet camp with the local theater - it'll be rougly $150 per week.



We allow the kids to do only 2 afterschool things each. That is it. Music is during school so they do that all school year around. Also, keep in mind costs outside of the activity. For example. Dance is only $145 per month, but the costumes are an additional $800 - that is nothing to bawk at.....also, Basketball is only $150 per season, but we pay facility fees, and they have to have court only shoes! Consider the total cost - not just the monthly fees. AND NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE VALUE OF YOUR TIME.



One more thing! Not sure how old your children are, but my children are in the 3rd grade. They each have roughly 1.5 - 2 hours of homework each night. Projects are a BEAR! Make sure that you take into account what the children can handle and remain academically strong. If they have to quit an activity becuase of grades, they will see it as a punishment. Consider what they can handle BEFORE you comit!



Please note that these costs are in addition to school tuition, tutoring, and all of the STUFF that comes with being a kid!

Danielle - posted on 10/24/2012

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My 2 daughters take several dance classes each (ballet, tap, jazz, & hip hop). I pay about $190 per month for those dance classes. Plus my younger daughter takes Irish dance which is $500 for the year. My older daughter stopped taking Irish dance because it conflicted with her other dance classes. My older son takes karate at our local YMCA, which is $85 per session. And my 3 yr old son just started with a 'gymnastics' class at the Y, $45 per session. In total I pay about $300 a month for these activites from Sept thru June.



Then both of my daughters cheer for a football team ($50 each), and the older one also competes. The 'season' squad runs from August thru November. The 'competition' squad runs thru May, with the only additional cost being participation in fundraisers and shoes (plus paying to get in to watch the comps and maybe 1 or 2 overnight trips for a comp). And both girls play softball and my older son plays baseball in the Spring (I think that was about $250 for all 3 after the family discount).



It's too hard to stick to a 1 activity at a time if the kids want to play sports and do some kind of year-round activity.

Julia - posted on 10/23/2012

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Hello, I'm writing at article about this very topic for a reporting class at the University of Illinois. Would anyone be willing to speak with me over the phone about it?

Casey - posted on 10/17/2011

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wow.. so glad that my daughter does mini - ball for $40 a term, and the next term it will switch to $5.00 a swimming lesson - couldn't imagine those sorts of costs everyweek. YAY New Zealand!! :) Plus she also got dance and gymnatsics free during her lunchtime 1 day a week if she wanted to go :)

Sylvia - posted on 10/17/2011

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Does day camp in the summer count? Because that averages out to about $150/week for ~6-7 weeks (the rest of the time DH or I or both of us are on holiday, so no camp necessary). Swimming lessons -- about $20/week, but usually only during the school year. Hebrew school is about $1000 for the year, spread out from roughly September to May. So ... about $200/month? We definitely spend more on child care, even now that DD is only going to before-school care which is cheaper than before+after. If there were something she *really really* wanted to do, we'd try to figure out how to make it happen, but we don't want to end up spending every waking moment shlepping around from activity to activity, so we tend not to enroll her in anything that wasn't her own idea ... except for Hebrew school, which is non-negotiable :P

Sherri - posted on 10/17/2011

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We have it set up through the school. So yes it is a little pricey but I find it is really worth it. Cost includes lift pass, rentals (if needed, less if they don't) and lessons.

Jakki - posted on 10/17/2011

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Yes of course - it isn't just the money it's the hassle and stress of getting them here and there, and sometimes it's just impossible.

PS I like the sound of skiing in winter. Is that expensive?

Sherri - posted on 10/17/2011

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I have to many kids to do that. No they don't because I simply give them a choice you can pick one this or that. I also financially can not afford more than that. 3 kids three different activities and another on the way. Not to mention I am only one person trying to get them here there and everywhere by myself is hard and I can't be in multiple places at the same time.

Jakki - posted on 10/17/2011

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Sherri - I think the "one activty per child" policy sounds good but I haven't been able to keep to it. Don't your kids beg for more? My policy now is one sport and one "cultural" thing eg music or language or drama at any one time (but we are still blowing out).

Sherri - posted on 10/17/2011

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Yes we limit one activity per season. So avg. of $70 per sport per season. My oldest only does skiing in winter, my middle basketball fall, winter and my youngest baseball in the spring.

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We budget based on time more than $$. We only have one kid.
Taekwondo is year round, $140 per month, plus $75 for testing (about 4 times a year), plus $200 to $600 per competition (depending on location/travel costs, at 3-6 times per year)

Baseball is only in spring, $125 for the whole season, plus about $100 for gear--pants, helmet, bat & shoes. We use the same mit & bag every year for now.

Swimming is only in Summer, $65/week for 4 weeks.

Music is all seasons except Fall, $20/week plus instrument. He only has music once a week.

Jakki - posted on 10/17/2011

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The spending on kids stuff creeps up slowly and you don't notice it until suddenly you sit back and say WOOAH! and you realise you're spending a fortune. We are doing swimming for all 3 ($15 per kid per class), music ($40 for a weekly 30 minute cello lesson, $30 for trumpet), karate ($7.50 per kid per class), German ($10 per kid per class), maths tutoring $30 for one child, and during winter there also was soccer ($200 per kid for the whole season).



But do you know what is really costing the most now - the psychologist! This is for my son because he was having so many social problems at school - that's about $100 in out-of-pocket expenses per week, and I just noticed that 2 of my kids have got crooked feet so we have to start with podiatry and orthotics. That will be pricey.



(you didn't ask about the cost of maintaining husbands - he sees the dentist, acupuncturist, naturopath and the physio so he is the most costly to run! lucky he's worth it)

Taj - posted on 10/12/2011

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It depends on what types of activities you want your child in and what you can afford. Our boys take piano lessons, Spanish tutoring, fencing lessons, cooking classes, etc. In the past, they've also participated in various sports teams that have registration and uniform fees (i.e., football, baseball, soccer, basketball). We spend quite a bit a month in fees. The biggest expense is piano ($270 monthly). Spanish tutoring ($145 monthly with a private tutor). Fencing Club ($200 per school semester about 3 months). Sports teams registrations tend to run about $85-$120 month depending on the team and uniforms can cost an additional $10-30 depending on what the team provides and what you need to purchase. Cooking classes are $50 month. When they were younger (pre-school aged), we did Little Gym, Music Together, etc. If I recall those classes tend to be a couple hundred dollars for a session (i.e., between $100-$150). If you are on a specific budget, I suggest prioritizing the activities that you won't do without (i.e., music lessons, language lessons, sports, etc). Make sure that those are budgeted for and then add on extras that interest you or your kids based upon your ability. Kids are not cheap, that's for sure! ;-) It's easy to get overextended time wise also. When they were younger (around 4 or 5) I tried to have one activity per day (but not on Sundays). Now that they are older (8 & 11), I have narrowed it to a few activities per kid (activities 3 days per week) because they need more time for homework. Good luck! That might be too much running around for some families but it works fine for us (as I am a stay at home mom) and my boys love it.

Valarie - posted on 10/12/2011

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I agree with Heather! It certainly pays to look around and compair pricing. Don't forget the price of gas, because some activies that are farther out, may cost less, but you pay the difference in gasoline!

Heather - posted on 10/12/2011

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Much depends on where you are in the U.S. Things cost more, for example, in the Northeast where I am.
We pay $26/week for DS #1's tennis lessons. $35/week for DS #2's guitar lessons. About $140/month for Tae Kwon Do (one kid). This is probably the cheapest it's been for us for a while, because DS #1 is more involved in after school stuff at his school ($100/year). We also do scouts and that averages to $20-30/month/kid.
You can get away with much less though, especially in other parts of the U.S. :)

Valarie - posted on 10/12/2011

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We spend about $275 per month, on Dance, violin, Tae Kwon Doe, and Football. That does not include travel costumes, shoes, fees, practice clothing, music and instruments....all of that adds an additional $1000 per year!



My advice is to only spend what you can afford to spend. Lots of parents feel pressuerd to overextend themselves to ensure their kids keep up with their friends. We tell out children how much we are spending, to help support the notion that these activities require us to work hard, and our expectation is that they do their very best.



Parents are often concerned about the financial expenditure....but don't leave out the time expenditure...especially if you have more than one child. We have had to result to an electronic calendar to keep up with our 8 year old twins....it is utter insanity! 2010 was a rough year! We WON'T make that mistake again...2011 has been much better - they are down to 2 non-school activities each per week per child....THATS IT! They are only 8 and what they want to do changes with the wind, so we limit them for the sake of sanity.

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I spend about $200/month, but my twin girls are on the gymnastics team and are in the gym 3.5 hours/week (it's an hourly rate). That's the price for only one kid, but that's all I pay cuz the coaches love us. ;) ♥ Before they were on team... it was about $200/month still, but I was paying for BOTH kids.

Only budget for what you and your kids can handle.... money AND time wise. It's a struggle for me to keep the girls in the gym, but it is SO important to them that I won't cut it unless/until I have absolutely no other choice.

My 3.5 year old son doesn't have any activities yet... except 2 days/week of preschool.

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