Tips for dealing with the high cost of summer

Between swim lessons, summer camp, family vacation, all-day childcare, and the almost inevitable summer injuries, bee stings, and allergy treatments, summer costs for your kids can add up quickly. What are some pro tips you moms have for keeping summer costs down and fun up?

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6  Answers

69 42

I raised my first family during the recession of the 1970s. We were careful with funds and our son went to summer camp with his boy scout troop (very reasonable) and our daughter went to our local church camp (again, reasonable). We did not take many vacations. We took long weekends to Cocoa Beach while we lived in Florida, and camping in the mountains or at a lake when we moved to Atlanta. Camp took care of swim lessons. We went on many picnics, played games as a family, watched videos and popped our own popcorn. More recently I have been raising my 8 year old granddaughter and take her to work with me when I am in the field with a client or let her enjoy being at home with her dog, indoors and out while I work in my home office. I don't believe children need tons of 'planned activities' to have a great summer. We keep a reading list and spend some time each day reading, ususally right before bedtime. Don't let pressure from other moms influence you to spend more than you can comfortably afford. And don't feel guilty if your child isn't in every program everyone else is in. Invite friends over for playdates. Go to the zoo, if you have one. Visit a museum. Be imaginative. And have a great summer.

2
8 5

I agree. The times my mom put me in sewing class and tennis lessons are the times I disliked the most during those summers. I just wanted to be able to play outside with my friends and go to the pool!

4 10

I have a son that is special needs and needs lot of stimulations. LIBRARY programs, Homedepo offers workshops for kids from age 4-12 years old. The city might offer free one week programs in certin areas of your city. Hope this helps

1
36 0

Tent camping in the back yard. Renting a cabin near a lake at a state park. Public pool swim lessons (anyone remember the red cross pollywog/tadpole, etc classes?), library. Pick one camp to send your child to. Can you flex your work schedule and pay for three days instead of five? Each week I choose a room and we all work to clean it out and de-clutter our house. It also teaches the kids how to organize and clean. They each get one night a week to help me cook a meal they help to plan. I work at a school and am off for the summer as well, so I use the vacations to really hone in on the life skills.

1
5 20

I have two boys and they are 2 and 3 so I am just dealing with this now. I think the key is to stick to a budget. Yeh, you want your children to do everything but that is just not finacially possible. I look for things that allows them to do multiple things. For me that is the YMCA. This allows me to work out, They have a pool with a kiddie section for the boys, they have a kidzone while I am working out and they have extra programs that I can sign the boys up for a small fee. I have them both in swimming lessons for 8 weeks at $28 per child. I have also plan on doing things that are no cost. We have several public parks that have splash zones and are great for the boys to play. We can go for a few hours or all day and pack a lunch to have a picnic. I also belong to a mom's kids group where we get together for playdates almost weekly so that helps too.

1
1 28

The YMCA also provides financial assistance for those who needs it, all that needs to be done is to fill out a financial assistance application, with a pay stub, your top copy of your tax return and once you turn it in, you should receive an answer in the mail within 10 days. Also if you have a child currently attending a after school program through the YMCA and have been enrolled for over 20 wks, they give you the members discount even if your not a member on top of the financial asst. So thats like getting 2 discounts, its works great for me for the summer and I have 2 who are 9 and 12 yrs old. So this summer they will be attending the Summer Program at the YMCA, they open at 7-6pm.

78 0

MY NAME IS PATRICIA, WE DONT HAVE HARDLY ANY EXTRA MONEY FOR ANYTHING, SO WE PAYED FOR AN ABOUVE GROUND SPLASH POOL THATS IN OUR BACKYARD,AND THEY INVITE FRIENDS OVER AFTER SCHOOL &WEEKEND FOR POOL PARTY&BBQ....EVERYONE THAT CAN BRINGS SOMETHING ,CHIPS OR HOT DOGS TO GO WITH WHAT WE ARE PROVIDING....WE CAR POOL,TO BASSLAKE,TO BBQ AND SWIM &CAMP FIRE,WITH MARSHMALLOWS &SMORES,IN THE EVENING,TELL CAMP STORIES.....WE HOLD NEIGHBORHOOD FOOTBALL GAMES,OR BASKETBALL GAMES DOWN AT THE SCHOOL,WE HAVE MOVIE NIGHTAT OUR HOUSE WITH POP CORN&CAPRI SUNS,OR GO TO THE THEATOR WHEN WE TELL THE KIDS TO EARN A FEW BUCKS DOING CHORES AND WILL PICK A DAY TO GO AND WE THROW IN THE REST SO THEY ALL CAN GET IN....WE HAVE BALLON FIGHTS ALSO,WE GO TO THE LOCAL ZOO WHEN THEY ARE HAVING FREE ICE CREAM DAYS WITH ADMISSIONS.....WE HAVE BANANA SPLIT PARTYS AT OUR POOL IN THE YARD WITH MUSIC.....

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5 13

Go to the library. They offer many free programs and if your not home, you will be saving on your water bill as well. Take the bus for cheaper transportation. Also, packing lunches can save money on excursions. Peanut butter and jelly can go just about anywhere.

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