Covering the Cost of Raising School-Age Children

Kids are expensive. The expenses start the moment you buy your first set of diapers or schedule that first sonogram. But the expenses don’t stop coming just because your child has graduated to table food or has finished potty training.

There are always costs associated with raising children, and sometimes our cash flow doesn’t always keep up with the things our children need. This is especially true for school-age children in the years between daycare and college.

If you find that you are always scrambling for cash to help cover the costs of raising school-age children, you have options on how to find some breathing room in your monthly budget. One easy option can be short term loans when times are tough.

Some parts of the year are more expensive than others. When you’re looking at a month full of expenses, why not use a small personal loan to cover the gap? Best of all, using a personal loan rather than credit cards to pay for the things your child needs lets you pay the loan back with regular monthly payments at an interest rate typically lower than most credit cards.

With personal loans readily available, you can make the most of your budget and help your children not only get by but thrive. Your money can help your family finances and kid succeed in many different areas.

Course fees and school supplies

You know when it’s back-to-school time because your bank account suffers. School supplies can easily reach into three digits, especially if your children require very specific types of materials. Add in specialized calculators, tablets or even a new laptop and you’re looking at school supplies that cost
hundreds of dollars.

And once your child has the supplies she needs, she still has to cover various course fees and technology payments. Art fee? Computer insurance? Music fee? Gym clothes? Some classes come with additional
requirements and school-purchased materials. Naturally all of those items also cost you a pretty penny.

New clothing and uniforms

Children grow quickly and you can be assured that will outgrow last year’s school clothes or uniform before the new year starts. Even if your child can still squeeze into the old jeans or dresses at the beginning of this school year, he or she will need a replacement or ten before the year is out.

Many families like to celebrate the beginning of the school year with a big shopping trip to buy new clothes and shoes. These trips can add up, of course, which is why you need to plan ahead to free up some cash to make the most of the trip. One good trip in the fall can cover the need for an updated wardrobe through most of the school year. The exception is new shoes. Kids seem to always need new shoes year-round.

Class trips

Is the eighth grade going to Washington D.C. this year? Or maybe there is an outdoor adventure planned for the fifth graders? Maybe your high school student is begging to join his class on the mission trip overseas or a language immersion program.

These programs are hugely powerful and tremendously rewarding for children, but they aren’t cheap. If your child is dying to attend a class trip, the school will usually find a way to offer a payment plan or at least installments, but you can bet that however you wind up paying the bill, your child will remember the trip for a lifetime.

Private lessons

If you want your child to be competitive in a sport, dance or music program, invest in private lessons. Working with a private lesson teacher gives your child undivided attention and one-to-one refinement on skills and requirements to improve.

Private lessons range tremendously in price. Some lessons may be arranged through your child’s school program – the band program may recommend a private lesson teacher, for example. Others have to beset up outside of the school. While the cost of private lessons certainly adds up over time, the benefits of the lessons are tremendous when it comes to improvement and competitiveness in various programs.

Private tutorials

On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes your child isn’t working to get ahead, but instead working to get caught up. If your child struggles with math or reading skills or has homework that has progressed well beyond your own memory of high school geometry or research papers, there is help available.

Many schools and community programs offer free or reduced-rate tutorials, and you should absolutely take advantage of those. But if your child is really struggling, the best investment may be private tutorial sessions with a highly qualified teacher.

With a private tutorial teacher your child isn’t just finishing up old homework, but learning and relearning the areas where he needs the most support in the classroom. A private tutorial is effectively another, personal teacher who can be sure your child has learned what he needs to learn to be successful at the next level.

Medical and dental experiences.

Hello braces. Hello wisdom teeth. Did your child manage to make it through childhood without chipping a tooth or needing a cavity filled? Probably not.

Those same teeth you were so excited about when they broke through your infant’s gums are now making you and your wallet a bit crazy. Braces can be very expensive and most teens will also need to have their wisdom teeth removed as well, which certainly isn’t free.

Add to those dental expenses the cost of any sports injuries, household injuries, routine doctor’s visits and other medical needs like removing warts, getting eyeglasses and a break or sprain and you’re looking at a hefty bill for all things medical. Which is another reason you always want to have an emergency fund on hand, for those unexpected expenses.

Kids are expensive, but there is no doubt that they are worth the investment. Spend your money wisely and you will know that you have done everything you can to help your child not only enjoy his or her
childhood, but thrive during these critical developmental years as well.