Family finances: How to plan and budget for after school activities
At TheKidsDo we love to support parents with all aspects of after school activities. We help you find and book local children classes thanks to our digital schedules and are also on hand to offer advice on how to plan your finances around your activity planning.
In this blog, we want to provide parents with some useful insights on how to plan your after school activity budget. We understand every parent’s decision when it comes to their own financial planning and we hope you find these top tips helpful when it comes to organising the family calendar.
What the nation spends
To help you with your financial planning, let’s first take a quick peek into what we spend as a nation on children classes and after school activities.
The average cost per hour session of an after school activity in London is £21.79. (1) Based on this cost per session and a child attending around 3.2 activities per week (1), parents in London are estimated to spend a weekly average of £69.73 on after school activities. This weekly cost rises to £139.46 to accommodate two children.
Interestly for the rest of the UK, the weekly average cost is 30% less with an average spend closer to around £50.00 per child. (1)
Plan and Budget
With these costs considered, how can you budget for the classes that your children want to do? Our advice is to stabilise your finances by planning ahead. Here are a few ideas on how you can get ahead and start making those financial plans.
Dedication is what you need…
Make sure you make full use of ‘free trials’ or ‘taster’ sessions before committing to an activity or class. Take into consideration that there may be additional equipment costs/fees for particular activities. So it’s important to encourage your child to make a commitment to the activity before spending more. Stopping your children from regularly swapping activities also teaches them valuable commitment skills for the future.
New Kid on the Block
Try to make savings by signing up for a block of activity sessions rather than using the ‘pay-as-you-go’ method. Buying activities in blocks or by term will work out cheaper in the long run.
Get with the Group
Look out for group children classes or activities to get more for your money. Did you know that activities that require one-to-one instructions are on average ‘173% more expensive than group activities' (1)?
More Money Saving Tips
Why not consider complimenting your after school calendar with these free and low-cost activity ideas that the whole family will enjoy:
Get on your bike
If the kids love cycling - why not take them out for a cycle? We are so fortunate to have some fantastic cycle paths in our local area of Kingston and Richmond. Why not take advantage of these, pack up a picnic and go for a ride!
Get the kids in the kitchen and get cooking. You really do not have to attempt a show stopper of a cake, there are plenty of quick, simple and healthy baking recipes online to try. If baking really isn’t your thing, why not get the children to help you once a week with preparing and cooking the family evening meal?
Reach for the skies
Go creative and have a go at making your very own kites. There are lots of free online templates to choose from. Once you have created your masterpiece head to Richmond Park and see your creation take flight! (2)