When do you cut Kid's Activites? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-03-2011, 02:48 AM - Thread Starter
e13lorena's Avatar
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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,


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#2 of 4 Old 04-03-2011, 10:30 AM
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Since you haven't posted any particulars about the rest of your budget, I have no idea about whether or not what you're paying is reasonable for your budget. I will say that the class costs seem very reasonable compared to what I pay for my kids to be involved in similar activities.

I do have another thought though. Assuming that your kids go to school, would you consider finding a part-time job during the day? I work part-time, 3 mornings a week while my kids are at school. My job provides a nice social outlet for me and it also funds my ROTH IRA and my kids' music lessons and sports. Although we would be able to afford our kids' extracurriculars without my income, we would have to cut back on other things to do so. But with me working, there's room in the budget for all of us to be involved in fun, life-enhancing activities, not just the kids. It probably wouldn't take you too many hours of work each month to earn the $200 or so to pay for dance/sports.

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#3 of 4 Old 04-03-2011, 11:15 AM
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I work during the day so my kids can go to Judo & Dance(and so i can get my new house,lol).


Next year for dance I'll be spending between $5000 & $6000 for 2 kids.  1 is doing ballet, tap, jazz & a solo.  The other is doing ballet, jazz, hip hop and solo.   Your dance fees(without the free classes) are wayt cheaper than ours.  


Right now I am putting money away for dance next year.    If they did not enjoy it so much I would not do it.


As the pp said, if your kids are in school, can you work during the day.  I work in the same school division, but not the same school.  I am out 30minutes before they are so I can pick them up still.  We have the same holidays off.


We do take a break & other than swimming lessons once dance is done in may they don't do anything like that until sept.  My dd in judo can keep going to adult classes through the months the junior's are done, but we do not pay extra for her going to adult classes.


Can you give up Production?  Here they do Production every 3 years.  they go on a cruise for it, it is $4000 for each child.  They fundraise 2 years ahead for this to help offset the cost to parents.  They don't have to fundraise but most do. In order to be part of Production you MUST be in at least Grade 4 ballet & 2 other dances.  My kids(9 & 10) are not elligible to go as part of next year's Production but should be able to the one after.  I've been putting bugs in my parents ears as that will be $8000 + my own costs, approx half.

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#4 of 4 Old 04-03-2011, 11:40 AM
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Well, when you can't afford it you can't afford it and it's time to cut 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)

That doesn't sound like a case of just can't afford it.  That sounds like a case of not sticking to the budget.  While sticking to a budget is much easier said that done, I wouldn't cut out something my kids enjoy, just so I or Dh could afford to continue to not stick to the budget.

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