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Feeling crappy about what my kids can't do.... - Page 2

post #21 of 31
Angela, I'm feeling the same thing. My daughter has a small gap between her two front teeth and braces would easily close it up and her already beautiful teeth would be perfect. Many of her friends have braces. Or are already getting them off. She's fourteen y.o. and kids frequently get braces when they're 11 or 12. She wants braces. Our dental plan pays for braces.
I had a gap between my 2 upper front teeth. I had braces put on at 13, more for an overbite but becuase of the gap too. I had them taken off 13months later, ticked off some classmates(and my sister,lol) who had theirs on for over 2 years.lol However my gap came back when my teeth decided they didn't like where they tried to put them. In the last year though my teeth have been moving, I think my wisdom teeth are finally through enough to push the teeth. My gap is gone. I am naturally missing my I teeth so I had extra room for my wisdom teeth.

The thing that sucks for the tax credit is that it has to be a course that is over 10 weeks long... and you have to pay with it and then claim it onthe next years taxes.
Most group activities are more than 10 weeks long, even if you pay monthly. but the minimum weeks is 8, not 10. Camps have to be 5 days.

You can only claim the cost of the registration, UNLESS the cost is included in the registration. My dd's Gi for Judo was $65. When she got her Yellow belt we just dyed her white one, but if you needed a new belt that would cost too, just not sure how much. The white one was included in the Gi. It doesn't cover the cost of any tournaments you choose to go to either.

Kung Fu is an allowed tax credit.

Child memberships to a gym/health club are a tax credit IF more than 50% of what they do there is physical. If less than 50% the membership can be prorated to the portion that is physical. Same with things like Boys & Girls Club, Boy Scouts, etc.

Do you have Kidsport? If so they'll cover the cost of sports up to $150/year I think.

Playschool - is there a First Steps/Second Steps/Headstart group there? If so it should be free of charge. You do have to apply & be approved based on financial need, but it's through the school division so it should be free.
post #22 of 31
Yep. Sorry! I was misinformed on the 10 week part. It is 8 weeks.
Did anyone use this last year?
It looks like you only get a small portion of tax credit towards money owing on your taxes. Maybe I am not quite getting it.
So it looks as though if I spend 100 dollars on a program I can claim 90 dollars to go towards unclaimed taxes. That is pretty cool!
We usually don't have 100 dollars to put our kids in anything at all( we luck out to have homelearning funding that we can use which is great), but I can see this being a good thing. What if you don't have any amounts owing on your income tax?
post #23 of 31
I did it last year & this year(obviously haven't filed yet, just waiting for dh's final numbers but other than that our taxes are done).

Last year we had basketball for 3 kids & I think swimming lessons.

This year we have judo for 1 kid, dance for 2 kids & swimming lessons.

Now the swimming lessons we take are NOT 8 weeks long, or is it technically a camp for 5 days either, but since it's a fitness credit I"m using them anyhow.
post #24 of 31
Don't know if there is such a thing where you are, but when I was growing up the local parks and rec would have a few classes each session for very very low cost--like $5.

Of course, the skating class (at the local mall rink) for that was like $40 for 6 weeks, included skates and parents and siblings didn't have to pay to come sit by the rink. I can't believe they'd charge you to sit and watch your kid take a class.
post #25 of 31
i'm sorry i have been in that position before and it is painful. i would look into kidsport (not sure where you live but you can look it up online). when i was in scouts it is probably possible to get a break from them on the fees, talk to the leaders and they can bring it up at group committee.
post #26 of 31
I'd encourage you to keep looking - and to maybe try organizing things yourself.

There are probably a number of "classes" you could do at home with friends. Over the past couple of years we have "enrolled" our kids in classes we have organized with friends that cover everything from cooking, and making bread, to art, science, knitting, sewing, chess etc. Check out community space, seniors homes (we can get free space for some programming at our nearby senior's home and they love to have us come). As friends what they can do, barter for programs (I'm getting guitar lessons for my son from a girlfriend in exchange for making her batches of homemade soap and bath products).

We are a single income family and the cost of sports in particular is really expensive. It is getting out of hand. Soccer for my 4 kids this year was going to be $650 for the season. I've just decided to run a small family soccer co-op rather than putting my kids into the city wide program. I've talked to a few families, booked a sports field through the city for 12 weeks and sourced t-shirts, and recruited some parents who were former coaches. It's going to cost me about $25 per kid for essentially the same kind of program that is offered through our soccer association.

If you are homeschooling friendly or inclined, check out your homeschooling group. We homeschool and I am constantly amazed at what people are able to offer and arrange for their kids on a very tight budget.

I'd also suggest that for the most part, expensive classes haven't been as valuable to my kids as less formal classes and programs done with friends - especially when they are very young.
post #27 of 31
I was going to mention scouts-someone beat me to it. Scouting gave my single mom a way to give us so many opportunities! She was a co-leader and an assistant leader, I'm sure that helped her find the best deals and opportunities. Plus she was giving her time and doing lots of fun stuff with us. Leaders often brought their younger children with them to activities...good luck. I get sad when I realize my mom regrets all the things we couldn't do. Good luck finding activities!
post #28 of 31
Our YMCA's where my 3 went to preschools offered scholarships and we opted for just two days a week so that we could budget it in.
My sons are in cub scouts. Very little fees involved. Develops social skills, personal skills and community skills. Fund raising covers most or all of the applied costs. Pay for a basic shirt set up.
Instead of toys or mostly "stuff" for the holiday, I bought them each a clay making class every Saturday for 3 months at our http://pittsburgharts.org/school_ws_kids09.php -- I applied and received scholarships so both classes cost me $50.00 for the term. I have bought them winter classes like this for three years now at either the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts or at our Phipps Conservatory where we were members. I have also recently applied for a scholarship for a week in the summer at the PCA -- Painting with VanGogh. We have major contributors through places like the Heinz endowment that strongly support the arts in our area. But it took a lot of looking around for ideas to find this stuff. I also sign them up for baseball. It is about $100.00 for the season for BOTH my sons for 4 months of activities. I have to sorta pick the things that have the most bang for the buck in the way of development, interaction and entertainment. Sometimes I have had to nudge a bit. In the summer I look for the free camps or community activities that are low to no cost. ie. our local wave pool does free swim lessons one day a week for 4 weeks, County wide. I take them to it. The county allows them to stay for public swimming for free after classes. so I just pay for myself for the days we decide to go and pack a picnic lunch. We do the free lunch programs in our Township/County Monday through Friday. It is a boxed lunch program open with a morning craft daily. Mostly my kids like to go to play with the other 25 kids in our neighborhood on summer break that show up. The mothers just sort of hang out.
We are very involved in our church. Sunday School,2 Vacation Bible Schools, Summer Camp which is done with funding. The all children work for through the church offering a Free Will Lunch after services a few times a year. The families donate food and the children prepared and serve the congregation. What they earn goes into a kitty to help the kids go to camp. It has been a good lesson for my sons and my daughter who is now in college.
I was a single mom for 8 years with my daughter, there was lots of "she goes to ### and they do ###. No matter how much one has or does not have there will always be wants and comparisons. If the children are busy in activities they notice less.
I gave up many things to make sure the kids could do some stuff. ie -- we are a paper free home -- that money goes towards things that were structured and developed my children instead. bake my breads, shop for a month at one time to stay out of the stores and to a budget. Cook from scratch, raise a small garden. I stock a dry storage so that I don't buy prepackaged foods and keeps the budget down. We don't eat out. I drive a budget friendly vehicle -- my house needs redecorated - bad. Having children in two different decades showed me just how fast the time flies and where my focus needs to be for a short time.
Just kicking out ideas that have worked for my non-existent widowed, unemployed budget.
post #29 of 31
My son was in scouts and it was biggest rip-off of our life. Not just the cost but the morally inept way it was run in our area. So tread carefully, your area might be fine.

I'm with a pp that arranging your own events is the best way to give your kid an experience, without the cost.

See if there is a "freecycle" in your are and post a wanted post for skates. Check out the local malls or office buildings and look for a free ice skating area near you.

Make the events exciting and even charge a "supply fee." Cooking classes, Biking days, play doh creation days, yu-gi-oh or whatever is the current card craze tournaments, kite flying (and making), make a "Boys Club" and work on things geared towards boys (pick up a book at the library there's quite a few), have a treasure hunt, letterbox, make bow and arrows from things found in the woods, start a Drama or Improv Club (lots of games available for free online).

The idea is create a community of children that will be around your child as often as you could make it happen (weekly, bi-monthly, monthly). It will take a lot of energy on your part, and that's how we do it here. More energy, means not spending money we don't have to begin with!

Good luck!
post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 
I found Karate classes for my oldest and soccer for my youngest! I'm so excited. We are able to pay monthly which will be ok. Both are under $20/month!!!!! : : :
post #31 of 31
Yeah!! : : I'm so happy for you!
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