Extracurricular Activities Don’t Have to Drive You Mad
Kids today have incredibly jam-packed schedules, unlike a generation or two ago. From clarinet lessons to soccer and ballet, kids are busier than ever. In addition to parents playing chauffeur, they have to play the role of an “investor” of sorts. The cost of extracurricular activities can really add up, and managing payments to different companies can be straining indeed. We have some tips to help you get the most out of your money.
Navigating Your Options
Many dance studios, music programs, and sports camps want you to prepay your child’s lessons, sometimes as much as the entire year in advance. But can you get the most out of your money when it is sitting in someone else’s bank account? There are other options, and we’re to help you navigate those options.
Remember that you can always negotiate payments for extracurricular activities. If you go to Dance Studio A and they want full payment for the entire 9-month program in advance, negotiate. Mention that Studio B down the street accepts quarterly payments and that you’d love for your child to try their program but you’re going with the more convenient option. In many cases, you’ll be able to negotiate a payment plan that works for you.
Check Those Statements
Some studios or programs will only accept a credit card for customers who want to make monthly payments, rather than pay for the entire year up front. If you go with the monthly option, make sure that you check your credit card statements regularly to make sure you are being charged the correct amount. Get the most out of your money by making sure you’re not being overcharged accidentally.
Ask For a Discount
If you do decide to pay up front because it’s more convenient for you, make sure you ask for a discount for doing so. Sometimes you’ll save as much as 5% or 10%.
Let’s face it — extracurricular activities aren’t often free (and they’re rarely cheap). The above tips will help you keep your extracurricular budget in check.