No one enters the world of parenthood without some idea of how much it’s going to cost. In fact, money is one of the primary reasons many of us put off having a family. Instead, we wait until we’re confident we can afford another mouth to feed. We budget for things like clothes, food, and pocket money. And, over time, it all adds up to a hefty sum. No wonder many of us are frightened to take the plunge!
But even the most financially sensible parents can’t account for everything. Even after years of thinking of every cost, you can be sure some things slip through the net. On top of which, some parenthood expenses don’t come to the fore until later down the line.
One such expense and the thing we’re going to focus on here is education. Admittedly, the majority of parents think ahead for things like university fees. In fact, many of us start saving for this eventuality the moment our kids are born. But, in truth, even moves like these can leave you short when education comes around. Why? Because there’s a lot more to this than you could ever understand. Hence why many families turn to companies like Brown Smith Wallace for help with educational finance planning. You can read BSWLLC.com for more information on services like these. Or, you might want to set money aside in private savings. Either way, it’s essential you have a plan to afford the following costs.
The education itself
We’re lucky enough to live in a country which benefits from public schools, where no fee is expected. But, that’s not to say that we can get complacent when it comes to the cost of education itself. Even secondary education could get expensive if, for instance, your child wants to go to a school which specialises in set subjects. They may also want to attend a private school, and it’d be down to you to ensure their wish is met. And, of course, there’s the cost of further education. University fees leave most students in debt for large parts of their lives. So, it makes sense that, as parents, you’d want to help here. And, the best way you can do that is by getting on top of your finances using the methods mentioned above. However you choose to handle this, think twice before assuming the costs of education will take care of themselves. It’s not always the case.
The necessary additions
Even if your child does attend public school, you aren’t in the clear. Their education itself isn’t the be all and all. In fact, they won’t get any benefits here at all if you don’t fork out on the additions they need. For the most part, this means buying them stationery essentials like those found on www.wilko.com. In most cases, the school will supply exercise books, but nothing more. It’s down to you to ensure they have full pencil cases. On top of which, you’ll likely need to invest in a rucksack for those pencil cases and their books. Given that kids can play rough at school, you’ll also probably need to replace these essentials at least twice a year. The good news is, you can buy most of these things for reasonably low prices. Even so, this is yet another expense you may not have anticipated. To ensure you don’t break the bank for costs like these, it’s worth setting aside small amounts for the purpose. Even just a change jar of money would likely cover these additions. And, having the money set aside means your child won’t need to struggle on with a broken bag for too long.
The school trips
And, still, the expenses don’t end. At least once or twice each year, there will also be school trips on offer. These range in price, and can get expensive at times. While never mandatory, we all want our kids to go on as many of these days out as possible. Failure to afford this could lead to exclusion, and missing out on learning.
So, how can you ensure that you never have to decline these opportunities? For one, make sure your kids always give you notifications the moment they get them. Every parent knows the not-so-joyful experience of finding vital letters at the bottom of their child’s bag. Most of the time, trip notification is given well in advance, meaning you’ll have time to save the money. That is, of course, if you get the letters in time. Even if you think you’ll struggle to meet a payment deadline, head in and speak to the teacher. Explain the situation, and it’s likely you can come to some arrangement. As long as you can give a date for when you’ll pay the amount in full, most teachers will be flexible. They, too, want your children to get the best, after all.
The after-school clubs
Every school in the country also offers after-school opportunities for students. These range from extra tuition, to dance classes and more. And, you can be sure that your children will want to take part in at least one of them. Just one small problem; most of these classes come with term-long fees. More often than not, these fees are minimal and achievable. But, if you’re already pushing the boat for the other costs mentioned, this can be an added pressure.
To ensure this doesn’t rock the boat, why not use it as an opportunity to get kids to take responsibility? You could encourage them to save pocket money for the cause. After all, these are classes they want to take for fun. As such, they may be willing to pay. Bear in mind that it’s not worth pushing if they refuse. If you do that, they may end up missing out. Instead, offer to meet them halfway, or just pay the full amount from your savings. You can also try getting your kids to pay for additions such as uniforms and instruments.
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