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Financing Your Child's School Year

How to Create a Budget with School Expenses in Mind

Once you know what is expected of you as a parent of a public-school student, it’ll be a lot easier to budget for it. Find out what last year’s list was. Contact any specialty classes to find out the fees if you can’t get the information from the admin office of the school.

You’ll need to know everything that your child may need, plus the extras as mentioned before - such as whether your child will be in a band, sports, choir or other activities. Whatever figure you come up with, multiply it by 1.5 so you’ll have a buffer, then multiply it by how many kids you’ll have in school.

Including the above, let’s make a list of the potential expenses for your child’s public-school journey.

·         Activity fees

·         After-school activities

·         Athletic equipment

·         Backpacks

·         Band fees

·         Before/after-school child care

·         Books

·         Class fees

·         Clothing

·         Computers

·         Folders/binders

·         General supplies

·         Homecoming

·         Honor society

·         Instruments

·         Lunch

·         Paper/notebooks

·         Pens/pencils

·         Pictures

·         Prom

·         Shoes

·         Sport fees

·         Uniforms

·         College testing

·         Other

These are a lot of fees and expenses that are going to be added to your life once your child is in school. If you have multiple children, it can get out of control. Some schools have caps on costs for multiple children, so please check that out to be sure whether you really need each of your children to buy general supplies or what the cap might be on paying for bus fees.

Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts. Once you understand the costs, it’s time to try to find inexpensive alternatives, free choices, and ways to save out of your already tight budget.

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