From babysitters and tutors, to sports equipment and art supplies, doesn’t it seem like your kids' after school activities are completely emptying your wallet and draining your bank account these days?! Well, don’t fret! There are a number of ways you can save money on after school activities for your children! Whether your child wants to play an instrument in the school band, is interested in taking gymnastic lessons, requires some extra help in math, or just needs to be watched over until you get home from work, take a look at these simple ways to save a buck or two on your kids’ after school activities.
News flash! Your YMCA membership isn’t just for just lifting weights, yoga classes, and indoor swimming! As long as you’re an active, paying member of the Y, you can also put your kids in a number of different classes or groups for much cheaper than at other places. Just check with your local YMCA branch, or go online, to see what types of classes they’re currently offering for certain age groups. In addition, if you have more than one child, or want to enroll your child in more than one class, the YMCA often offers additional discounts for this.
Skip the name brand sports gear.
Why pay top dollar just to have a name on your gear when you know that at the end of the season, it’s probably going to be pretty much destroyed and thrown away or sold at your next yard sale. Instead, worry less about name brand and more about functionality. A lot of lesser known brands perform just as well as the more popular, trendy brands. Your kids may not always agree, but as long as it does the job, the name shouldn’t matter. Bargain shop and show your kids the similarities so that they can begin to appreciate a good deal!
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Many after school leagues offer discounts to those parents who are willing to volunteer for them. All you have to do is volunteer some of your time - usually just a few games - working in the concession area, providing snacks for the team, or assisting the coach as a team mom/dad. In return, the league will refund you a portion of your registration costs at the end of your sentence… I mean season.
Look for classes or services at local colleges.
Music studios, dance studios, art studios... these are all often very pricey because, well, they are studios, after all, with bills to pay and businesses to run. So, instead of trying to find affordable lessons at one of these places, consider looking at a local college. Check to see if there are any affordable classes or services being offered, or perhaps there are students looking to provide lessons at a much more affordable rate.
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Search for Groupons.
Groupon is an all-time favorite discount site for so many people. This is far from surprising, as the discounts on here are just incredible! Groupon offers great introductory discounts for first-time visits, sessions, trials, classes, or whatever it is that you’re looking for. Even after your first time, you can be sure to find unbeatable prices when you return to the site. When you’re trying to decide which after school activities to place your kids in, always check Groupon for their latest deals to help with the decision-making process!
Rent equipment, rather than buying it to own.
If your child wants to participate in an activity that requires super expensive equipment, like a musical instrument, don’t panic. Just know this.. unless you can find an absolute steal online, at a yard sale, or in a consignment store, your best bet is to rent the equipment, rather than buying it. Renting really is the most affordable way - and the smartest way - to allow your child to start a new hobby without burying yourself in debt for something they may only stick with for a few months. Do some research on the various rental companies around and be sure to find out about their payment plans, insurance options, return policies, and the like.
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Check out neighborhood groups on Facebook.
These days, most areas have Facebook groups meant for buying, selling, or trading various items or services. Typically, members post when they have something for sale, if they are offering a skill or service for hire, or if they are in search of something specific. Many people feel that these groups are far safer than other sites like Craigslist, and often times, they are more effective and easier to use, as well!