Back to school time is right around the corner. While many parents anticipate the need for back to school supplies and clothing, many don’t consider the expenses beyond that point.
There are actually many expenses you’ll need to cover throughout the school year. Whether it’s field trips or gifts for teachers, the expenses can really add up. Let’s look at items you must include in your budget for kids in school.
In addition to basic school supplies, there will be items your kids need for projects. Teachers will send a list with everything needed. These projects are usually inexpensive, but it’s best to have money set aside so you’re not caught off guard.
During the holidays and Teacher Appreciation Day you’ll want to send gifts to your children’s teachers. This can add up quickly, depending on how many teachers your kids have. You may want to set aside $5 a week leading up to the holiday season just for this purpose.
Throughout the school year, your kids will have small parties to celebrate the holidays. You’ll need to set aside money for snacks, candy, drinks, etc.
In Elementary school, we were required to pay a $25 party fee at the beginning of the school year. In theory, it's easier than worrying about it throughout the school year, but it was good to have it budgeted since we needed the money when we were paying for everything else at the beginning of the school year (like clothing, school supplies, etc.).
Field Trip Funds
Field trips can be expensive. Not being prepared for these can sometimes lead to having to say no to your children going. Instead, make sure to set aside money to cover admission fees, food costs, souvenirs, etc.
You especially want to save the money if you know that each class traditionally takes a more expensive field trip. For example, at our school, the eighth grade class always goes to Six Flags to celebrate the end of middle school, but it can be an expensive trip if I don't budget for it ahead of time.
You’ll also want to set aside money for fundraising. Chances are your children will be selling things at least once throughout the year. It might be gifts from a catalog, candy, or even cookie dough. Setting aside money will help ensure you’re able to support your children’s fundraising efforts.
Last, but not least, you’ll want to set aside money for school dances, football games, and any other activities your kids want to take part in. If your kids want to play sports, you’ll need to set aside quite a bit of money to cover all the costs required by the school as well as any equipment needed like cleats, gloves, etc.
The costs of sending your kids to school go beyond notebooks and socks. There will be many expenses throughout the school year. Everything from field trips to projects will require a bit of money. Having the money set aside will help ensure that you’re never left scrambling to come up with the needed funds.