Have you ever considered as to how much you actually end up paying for your children’s afterschool activities? While the average costs of academics have witnessed a major leap in the last few years, it is not surprising to know that now more than ever parents are shelling out major bucks for their children to pursue the extracurricular activities. Whether they are paying for their ballet classes or the enrollment for karate lessons, about 1 in 5 parents end up spending north of $50 a week for their children’s afterschool activities.
Regardless of the extra burden on your financial health, extracurricular activities have major developmental benefits for your kids and there is no reason for you to avoid them due to costs. Enrolling for various afterschool programs is crucial for your little ones to discover their hidden talents and hone their skills early in their lives for a most prosperous and successful future. Thus, it is important to undergo adequate financial planning and be mindful of what you are getting into. Let us have a look at a few ways in which you can ensure maximum benefits of these afterschool activities for your kids while keeping your expenditures in check.
There are several schools that offer substantial discounts for students who enroll for their afterschool programs early. For instance, check local soccer leagues in your area that might offer the usual 10% for children who register three months before the actual practice begins. Also, you may get a discount if you decide to pay off the fees in a lump sum instead of the monthly installments.
Prioritize the activities
Although your child might want to learn guitar, dance, soccer, karate, ballet and tennis simultaneously, it is advisable to help them identify the activity that they are most sincere about. It is not only less stressful for the child who would otherwise have to shuttle from one class to another, but also more beneficial in the sense that they will be able to put all their focus into two or three activities. By enrolling your child for an activity they are committed to, you can considerably minimize the chances of your money going to waste.
Go for demo classes
If your child’s curiosity seems insatiable, you can go for trial classes or activity camps that are no longer than a week or two. Often times, a reality check is all it takes to quench your child’s curiosity thirst. Interest may end up waning after a couple of sessions. Shorter duration demo classes are a smart way of helping your child measure their affinity towards an activity while saving on your money and time that you might otherwise invest in long term commitments.
Mind the hidden costs
While the subscription for an activity might not appear too hard on your pocket, there is a possibility of hidden expenses to emerge in time as you go ahead with it. For instance, although a ballet class registration might be well within your budget, the costs of travel, outfits and gear might not. Several institutions insist on their students using activity supplies of a particular brand and type. This might end up burning a bigger hole in your pocket. It is good idea to have a comprehensive discussion with the institution about any extra charges that the program might entail and make sure whether you are willing to go ahead with it or not.
Motivate your child
Despite all your efforts and contributions in terms of finances, your investment will ultimately be a failure if your child is not able to get what you expect out of the extracurricular activity. Children are likely to be careless when it comes to taking such activities seriously. It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure that your child stays motivated and actually learns and develops from the activity.