A year ago, I quit my full-time job to become a stay-at-home mom to my three girls (ages 7, 9, 13). DH works full-time and on paper it looked like it would work fine. We would be able to make all our expenses and our extras, as well as still put money monthly into savings.
Now, after a year of not working, it's a struggle each month. My first thought it that we should cut the girls' dance / tumbling classes, and a dance class that I also take. Since this is an extra and not *needed*. We actually did not take any classes in January just to kind of catch up. It didn't make that much of a difference, and after talking to DH, who has nothing to do with the finances other than dropping his check off at the bank on Fridays, said to go ahead, we went back in Feburary. We also love to dance. The lady that owns the studio is also giving us free classes because she knows we're struggling. DD#1 helps her teach 2 classes a week and she wants the girls to be able to dance.
So here's what we take and the cost:
DD#1 - Tumbling - $36/ 4 week session
DD#1 - Ballet - FREE
$78.60 for all of the following:
-DD#2 - Ballet - pay, Jazz - FREE
-DD#3 - Ballet - pay, Jazz - FREE
-Me - Jazz - pay
So about $114/month for classes. (9 months out of the year = $1026)
Extras with this include:
Costumes for Recital: $128 / year
Tights, Shoes, Loetards: $30-$50 year, we use lots of hand-me-downs, so the costs are not as much as they could be.
Tickets for Recitals: $10 - for DH to come watch us
DVD of performance: $25
We also do the Nutcracker Ballet each year with another Dance Company and we're during the Spring Ballet this year also (Giselle), so there are additional costs here as well:
$60: Audition Fees ($15 each child)
$480: Production Fees ($170 each child)
$50 - $75: Production T-shirt ($25 each, sometimes I don't buy these, but like to)
$30: DVD of Performance
So total of additional Company Shows Total: $645/year
we also have to have tights, leos, and shoes here. since it's a stage performance, I have to keep this in good condition and buy new when needed, so probably $20 for shoes for the year, and $20 for tights. We've been able to use the same leos for a few years in a row.
We're at the studio 5 days a week and love it. I'm sure driving there all the time adds up with the gas so that would cut down to, if we stopped. I would love to be able to continue to have them take classes. The studio that we're at has the best prices in town. I love to dance and always wanted to dance when I was little and my parents just never had the funds to do it.
I think one of the real issues is that we're over-spending in other areas and maybe it's just easier to cut these out. I hate that. (something I'll post about in another thread, re: DH head in the sand and we're overspending)
So when do you decide to cut your kid's activites for finance reasons. What activites are your kids in and what's the monthly/yearly cost of this. My girls' also do softball in the summer - but that's only $100 for the season for both my younger girls, plus some equipment, maybe $50.
Thanks for your feedback,