Recently on Facebook, I spent an afternoon complaining about the cost of organized sports for my kids. I got a LOT of responses to that post, and I realized that we’re not the only family dealing with this particular Budget Buster in our culture today.
This particular event was basketball. After paying $20 towards the team’s registration fee, we also had to pay $6 per person to get into the event. This may not seem like a lot of money, but when you’re a family of 7, that adds up quickly! When you’ve budgeted every penny, these costs usually end up coming out of the “food” category – the only flexible category we currently have. That means we’re eating beans and rice for the last week of the month if we’re not very careful.
(I’m not even going to get started on the “no outside food or drinks” signs that are urging you to buy their snacks – again, with a family of 7, that could be another $30 before we even blink an eye.)
A quick breakdown of the cost of “extra” activities for the kids, for our family:
Sports (usually baseball, sometimes basketball):
- Registration: $100/person x 3 = $300
- Equipment/Uniforms: (at least) $75 x 3 = $225
- Food at games: $20/game x 10 games = $200
- Pictures: $50 x 3 = $150
- Entry into games (basketball): $6 x 7 x 3 games (all we’ve gone to this year): $126
Total: $1,001 per season for 3 boys
- Registration: $45
- Attire: $45
- Tuition: $45/month x 9 months = $405
- Pictures: $50
- Recital Fees: $50
- Food (around recital times, eating out a lot): $50
Total: $645 per year for one dancer
- Instrument: $1,000
- Books/Equipment: $15
Total: $1,015 – once, $15 per year after that
*We’re only 6th grade, so we don’t yet have the costs of private lessons, trips, contests, etc.
These costs don’t include “extras” like t-shirts, fundraisers, gas money to get us everywhere, and more.
I am researching solutions and frugal tips for managing these expenses. As part of my research, I’d love to hear the ways you have cut costs, or pared down activities to only what your children love to do. Comment here or on our Facebook Page to let me know! I’d love to be able to include a lot of reader tips in my next post.
Your turn: How do you cut/manage the cost of extra activities your kids are involved in?