Kids in High School? Tips to Manage the High Cost
The kids are back in school and parents are $14.8 billion poorer as a result of back-to-school spending, according to a recent study by the National Retail Federation (NRF). That’s a lot of pencils!
And, that’s just the beginning of the school year expenses, especially if your child is in high school. Here are a few of the added expenses you may encounter, with suggestions to prepare for them:
- Sports/Music/Other Activities — Research verifies the benefits of participating in extracurricular activities such as sports, choir, band or science club, but the cost can be hefty. Uniforms, team snacks, fees, out-of-town travel and other expenses add up to hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars.
- Prom — Prom night can be pricey, once you include formal wear, limo, dinner, grooming and accessories.
- Graduation — If you have a senior, you could be saying good-bye to more of your hard-earned dollars, by the time you pay for the class ring, class trip, robe, announcement, photos, etc.
Here are a few suggestions to save on some of these expenses:
- Search online for gently used sports equipment, musical instruments, formal wear and much more, for a fraction of the price if you buy new. Renting may also be a lower-cost option.
- Plan ahead for next year and ask graduating athletes if they are willing to part with their uniforms and equipment. They may sell them for a much lower price than you can buy them new. Do the same with graduation gowns. But, first, make sure there won’t be any style changes.
- Great bargains can be found in dresses and tuxes that have been worn only once. Check ads, consignment shops or online. If your teens insist on the best, let them work and share the cost.
- Shop for lower-cost alternatives for the class ring, announcements, photos and more, rather than purchasing everything through the school-selected vendors.