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How much do you spend per month on kids' activities?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Just wondering. My daughters are 7.5 and 5 and although they seem to do fewer extracurricular activities than many kids where we live, it seems like it could easily start adding up to a lot. Right now we seem to average around $500 per month....piano, skating, brownies, preschool tuition (low b/c it's a co-op), t-ball or soccer, summer camps. What do you spend?

post #2 of 19

When DC did dance, it was $1400 for a year, which included costumes, shoes, lessons, etc. They both play soccer, which is $40 registration fee + $30-ish for snacks/drinks throughout the season, $25 if we need new cleats, $15 if we need shin guards, $30 for pictures. That's $140 for an 8-week season; we play 2 seasons a year.


I've done classes at the Y. Ours are 4-week classes that are $20-30 per session. We do them as we have time and inclination, and I love that you're only committing to 4 weeks at a time.


DD's preschool will be $400/month next school year. 

post #3 of 19

Older 3 boys are in piano, which is $40 each per week (so, between 480-600 month, depending on how the weeks breakdown)  In spring and fall they all play baseball, which is capped at $140/family per season.  In winter, the eldest does hockey which is about $300 for the season, and youngers do basketball (again, 140/family per season)


post #4 of 19

DD is currently only doing girl scouts right now.  Registration was $12, vest & badges ran a bit over $30 and dues are $2 a week.  She does some other afterschool programs but they're free through the school.


DS1 is starting t-ball soon.  That's $40 plus cost of equipment- he has a mitt & sneakers so we're good there but they ran us @ $35 last year.  Soccer & basketball run about the same- $25-40 for registration plus sneakers/shin gaurds/whatever else is needed.

post #5 of 19

Oh, I forgot summer swim lessons, too.  That's $40 per 4 day session each kid or $60 per 6 day session.  Our youngest is only 2 so he isn't enrolled in any thing yet.  Preschool for him at age 3 will run us @ $1200 year for coop.  Preschool sports are $25 per session.

post #6 of 19

Honestly, I have no clue.  I should really tally it up, though, because I need to budget for it.  Over the last year it's just come out of a general clothing/gift/extra fund as needed.  Now that ds is 7yo and we're doing more, I need to really get more stringent.


We homeschool and I know that the fall cost us roughly $500 between a coop class and a gym & swim at the Y every session.  The spring was about the same because we added coop classes but dropped swimming.  Summer costs the most--easily $1500-ish from May through Sept.  But it's also the time of year we do the most out-of-home/paid activities (camps, etc.)

post #7 of 19

My DD(6y/o) does Girl Scouts so it was $12 for the registration and $2 for dues a week.  I think there's supposed to be 20 weeks total but our troop has decided to cut the session short so it will end up being less than $40 for the dues for the year... I bought the vest and patches last year which like the pp mentioned was about $30 or so dollars.  She'll need a new one next year since she'll be moving from a daisy to a brownie.  But I don't think we're going to do it next year since it will be a different troop and the excitement of it has seemed to wear off.  She takes gymnastics once a week, it's $65/mo(4weeks) for the fall session which runs the whole school year.  I think it's about $650 for the year total.  She's been doing that since she was 3.  She's in 1st grade and with homework every night, having 2 activities after school each week is more than enough for her.


She wants to do horseback riding, so over the summer we may sign her up for a couple lessons as part of her birthday present.  They run $25 for a 1/2 hour... So it can vary depending on how many times she goes.


DS (4y/o) doesn't do any activities, he did gymnastics when he was really small but wasn't really interested in it anymore so we stopped bringing him.  He hasn't seemed to have an interest in doing anything else yet.  I've asked and given him options of things he could try, but he doesn't want to.  I'm sure that will change when he gets in kindergarten and the other kids are doing things he may want to try.  He does go to pre-school, which is free... He goes 1/2 day 5 days a week.  If we had to pay for it, I don't feel it would be worth it though.


DS (2y/o) Doesn't do any activities.  He's 2... He's more than content picking on the cats at the house and getting into stuff he's not supposed to...LOL

post #8 of 19

Well right now DS is taking a Drama Class thats $200 for 8 sessions and Swim class $65/month so  $165/month?   This totally goes against my 'rule' of one activity at a time.

DS would also like to take an art type of class but right now there isnt time or $$ for that.


DS is 10 and this is the first year he's really done any type of program or activity.  Until now hes been happy with library type stuff ect

post #9 of 19

Next year dance for 2 kids(3 dances & a solo each) will be between $5000 & $6000 for the 2 of them.  Judo is about $2000 for my other child and then band is $33/month but I may buy her instrument out this year).

post #10 of 19

It depends


DD is only 3.5 so she doesn't do much - we do some weekly Waldorf program that was $350 I think? And that's per "semester.." and we do some art drop ins so that could be $50 per month roughly...We are doing horseback riding lessons this spring and it's going to be around $300, and that's really probably all we will do unless we decide to join the pond, but that too will most likely be on an "as we feel like it" basis at $15 per visit. 

post #11 of 19

We join a pool in the summer ($400 for May 28 - Labor Day).  It's worth every single penny.  Swim lessons are $5/lesson if you belong to the pool and my dd will probably do that for a couple of weeks.  My older son does ballet, hip hop and irish dance.  He dances for free because he's a boy (as long as boys take a ballet class, they dance tuition free), but there are registration fees ($25), performance fees ($150 for Nutcracker and $25 for Spring Recital) and costumes (I think they're about $100 for him this year).  He also played hockey this years which was $60 for the ice rink pass, $40 for team dues, and $50 for gear rental.  He also takes guitar lessons which is $30/lesson 1x per week.  My daughter also does ballet, Irish dance and hip hop, her tuition is $90/mo.  She's only 5 so didn't participate in the Nutcracker, but was in a smaller winter show w/ a $75 performance fee, $25 for spring show and about $120 for costumes.  This summer they'll do some dance intensives which will be about $300 for both of them to go.


I think next year this cost will go down because my dd will be in school and I don't want her quite as busy in the afternoon.  My youngest son, however, will be in a morning preschool 2x/week and that is $210/mo.

post #12 of 19

Well, we have a three year old and at the moment our only activities are a Y membership at $70/month and a zoo membership at $80 per year.  So that's only $920/year which is a lot for us.  However, after this baby comes, we'll probably drop the Y membership (we have it mostly for me for prenatal aqua classes) and a few months after that Ladybug will be old enough to start either dance or piano.  Piano runs $60 per month and dance is about $600 per year (not counting recitals).  So, we should be able to have her either in dance or taking piano for the same cost as our current Y membership and we won't see our costs rise for at least a year or two.  I really don't want to think about what it will be when we have two of them in both dance and piano along with a Y membership...

post #13 of 19

My kids don't do much.  I wish they could do more, but I just can't afford it at the moment.  Once my separation agreement is signed, I'll have more money for them to do more (hopefully).


Right now my daughter does dance (hip hop, stage, lyrical).  The cost is reasonable (about $500 for the entire season, which is Sept-end of April) because it's a co-op school.  She also does Girl Guides, which is super affordable ($60 for the school year, plus $2 a week in dues) because I qualified for a subsidy.


My son on the other hand does nothing outside of Lego club at school (which is free).  He's really a homebody, and not much into sports.  I feel a bit guilty about the fact that his sister does two things while he does none, but it doesn't bother him in the least.


Once my finances improve, the one thing I really want to restart with them are music lessons, as I had to cut them when their dad and I separated.  They don't get much music instruction at school, and I do feel it's a critical part of education.


post #14 of 19

DD is in fourth grade. She has Girl Scouts every other week ($12 registration per year for her + $12 for me as a co-leader + extra activities as we wish -- no additional dues). She can choose one additional activity during school trimesters (year-round school calendar broken into three chunks), but she doesn't always do so. In the Fall, she took dance & cheer (free) and theatre ($70) and we only did one extra GS activity ($35 for her + $30 for me). In the winter, she chose not to do anything besides GS. It was cookie season and she took a very high interest this year, so it was a wise decision on her part! We're about to enter the last trimester and she hasn't mentioned any desires, but she usually does an outside activity afterschool (jumprope, basketball, etc). I can mitigate the cost by volunteering for a specific job one afternoon a week, which is why she was able to do two afterschool activities in the Fall. (I volunteered one day and we paid for the other day, but it was too hectic and we will only do one in the future.) We're doing two GS activities back-to-back soon ($30+40 for her + $25+40 for me). She'll go to GS camp for four days over summer break (free) and probably take swim lessons ($55 for two weeks).


We used to have a family membership to the YMCA, but found we didn't use it much in 2010. I dropped it late in 2010 after a family discussion in which we all agreed the $77/month would be better spent/saved elsewhere for awhile. We haven't missed it. DH has been riding his bike and walking on his lunch breaks at work and using Wii Fit at home for exercise. I take free qigong classes and walk in our community and do yoga at home. DD gets a ton of exercise just being a kid, but she also has fun on Wii Fit and she walks with me quite a bit and we take family bike rides. (She's slender and healthy, so her exercise isn't needed for weight-control. It is to promote life-long healthy habits.) She hasn't enjoyed Y-sponsored lessons for a couple years now. DH had been using the equipment and I had been taking classes and DD had just gotten her tween ID for specific equipment, which I used with her.


We have an active playgroup that still gets together over school breaks and we focus on free fun or super low cost activities. Parks, beaches, pools (free), playgrounds, hiking, concerts in the park (free), etc. Several of us families purchased annual memberships to the children's museum for $42 through a groupon-type one day deal and we've been going regularly.


DD has music in school and she chose choir (her choice is for two consecutive years). We only had to buy the music book and a (wood) recorder. I don't recall the cost, but I got them both on amazon with free shipping and I used household funds to cover it (~$10 total). We have Band Hero for the Wii and she has taken a strong interest in the guitar. I will investigate and encourage guitar lessons later on. If not guitar, another instrument of her choosing.

post #15 of 19

Mine are 4, 2 and 3 months.. I'm signing my 4 year old up for a Baton twirling class (she wants to do dance but I can't find a school that we can afford) so its 20 a month. Come September the park and recs department is going to do a creative dance class for ages 2-5 so I'm going to put both girls in it. Its 2 dollars per person per class so between 4-8 (or 16-32 per month) depending on how often we go. Everything else is free stuff, like story time at the library, building classes at a local home improvement store etc. I'm also thinking of joining a homeschool group which would be 100 for dues for the year if we join.

post #16 of 19

My 4 year old goes to ps $100 per month

My 7 year old takes guitar lessons $75 per month

My 11 year old takes trumpet lessons - free at school - though we did rent to own his trumpet at $35 a month for two years, but now he owns it and can have at least three more years of free trumpet education


so...$175-$210 per month during the school year


My 7 year old and 11 year old play baseball $300 total for both of them for the season

My 7 year old and 11 played basketball this winter $100 total for both of them for the season (7 year old was free because dh coached)

My 7 year old did a recreational wrestling clinic this winter $50

My 11 year old played fall baseball $75 and my 7 year old took swim lessons this fall $125


so....$650 for the year (plus a team picture here or there or coaches gift or whatever probably bumps it up another $50) 


Interesting to see what others spend --- I was just saying to my husband that it feels like so much more money is just going out the door with the kids now that they are older....

post #17 of 19

Must add that what we do not do is swim team - where we live it costs $1400 to join the pool plus a $1000 bond and then $850 every summer safter that plus $150 per kid on swim team....I would love for my kids to have a go at it, but it would end up costing more than all of their other activities combined....don't know why it is so much more expensive that everything else.


I also have a $10 per month gym membership for MEEEE! That is right, I figure mommy can have an activity as well ;)


post #18 of 19

For dd13: About $200 for violin lessons.  Another $500/year for a regional orchestra fee, and $500 for two weeks of music camp, and miscellaneous recital fees.  We just bought $4,000 violin, so no more monthly rentals.  We just finished a Tae Kwon Do contract, which was $110/month.  She's trying to decide whether or not to continue for second degree black belt, but she'll be starting high school next year, and the greedy guy who runs the TKD place will only allow us to sign up for a 4-5 year contract, which would run about $120/month.  We're not going to do that because it's crazy as she might want to try something different in high school, but she may do a different martial art for probably $110/month.  So, we are sort of between things, so it's hard to say, but easily$300/mo now, probably about $100/month more when she decides about a sport.


For dd10:  $130/month for flute lessons, plus $40/month for flute rental.  Dance at $95/month.  She may want to start gymnastics in the fall, which is another $40/month.  All told, about $125-$165/month. 

post #19 of 19
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys View Post


Interesting to see what others spend --- I was just saying to my husband that it feels like so much more money is just going out the door with the kids now that they are older....

Yes I agree. DS just started activities, don't get me wrong, I'm glad that he managed to find something social that he likes to do but the $$ is really putting a wrench in my budget.






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