Don’t let runaway school expenses get away from you! Here some ideas for how to budget for extra school expenses like lunches, field trips and pictures.
Reduce Extra School Expenses And Fees
When that budget was made, Tawra only had 2 young children in school, but even now that she has 3 in school and they’re older, she hasn’t found that she has enough school expenses to really have to budget them separately. It was the same for me when I had mine in school. Tawra included school related expenses in other categories like Wal-Mart, food and clothes.
Here are some notes about specific school items:
Lunches: Kids are going to eat a lunch whether they are at home or in school, so she just included that in general food expense. If you find school lunches are more than lunches at home, then just send them a sack lunch.
We limit kids activities. The kids can pick 2-3 activities a year that we pay for and, if there’s anything more, they need to earn the money for it themselves. This may seem harsh or unfair to some but what is interesting is that most of the time, the kids find they didn’t want to go to the activity as much as they thought. They give it more thought if they have to pay for it.
Field trips can get out of hand sometimes so, if possible, talk to the teacher and find out which ones are required or not. Often a lot of them the teacher just mentions but they aren’t required. When the kids do go on the field trips, there are often many optional expenses, so be sure to ask.
School pictures: If you really must get them, buy the smallest package. I’m a grandma now and as much as I love getting pictures of my grandkids, I really don’t care if they are school pictures or regular photos sent to me over the Internet so don’t feel that you have to buy enough school pictures for every Uncle Tom, Dick and Aunt Harriet (or even grandma). If grandma really wants them, just say, “We can’t afford them” and if they want them that bad they can buy them. I recently found packets and packets of school pictures of my kids packed away. I asked myself, “Why am I keeping 40 pictures of the same pose,” especially when they weren’t very good pictures of my kids in the first place.
Note from Tawra: She gave them all to me and I trashed all but one or two 🙂 Our school has two school pictures each year now, one in the fall and one in the spring. It’s a fund raiser for the school. We usually just get the one in the spring because they try harder to get good pictures then so you will feel like you need to buy the extra ones.)
Essentially, if you just don’t have the money for these expenses, there usually is a way around them. You need to just say no to your kids or talk to the teacher to see if there is some other alternative.