Author Topic: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.  (Read 4939 times)

Chesleygirl

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How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« on: August 23, 2017, 12:40:34 PM »
Do children's activities have to cost as much as places bilk out of the parents?

Just as an example: my daughter enrolled in karate two years ago. Cost: $130 a month for unlimited classes. But this is not the only cost. Once they get involved, it's extra money for the uniform, then gear required and testing to get to the next belt. Spent $400 in just one month. Then martial arts studio wants kids and parents to go out picking up trash in the community to promote their business. They want us to buy $10 special t-shirts to wear while picking up trash. T-shirts have the name of their business on them. They want parents doing it too, so for all three of us that would be $30 for t-shirts. I said NO. I have lower back problems and can't be stooping down to pick up trash. They said, get a stick thingy to do (with a piece on the end to pierce the trash). What's wrong you don't want to do community service? Problem for me, is this is requiring parents and kids to work to promote their own business. We already pay for classes.
I pulled my kid out after three months.

She took creative dance once a week. The class used to be $75 a month for a one week class. Without warning, the dance studio hiked the tuition to $100 a month. This is higher than the national average for a once per week dance class for children. They did not send out a courtesy letter to let the parents know of the tuition hike. (Some dance studios do this as a courtesy, ours did not). I let her finish out the year, and we stopped that also.

Now she's in gymnastics which seems more reasonable. $120 a month for classes twice a week, no extra money required for anything else. So far.

Can we as parents just start saying NO, telling these places WHY, and then removing our children from the activity to find something more affordable..until we all start do that, they will keep bilking us.




Yankuba

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2017, 12:52:11 PM »
Our town and school district offer children's activities at a good price. Otherwise, the private stuff is expensive. And forget about one-on-one music lessons or tutoring

PoutineLover

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2017, 01:02:16 PM »
I don't have kids, but when I was a kid I did lots of low cost activities at community centres. Swimming, dance, gymnastics, etc. My parents did pay for private music lessons, which I think was kinda expensive, but still only once a week and I think playing an instrument is a valuable skill. You don't need to send the kids to expensive private studios especially if they are young and just trying it out. If they get really into it, maybe then you can consider spending more, but only if they are willing to put in the time too to prove that it's valuable to them (eg. commit to practice outside of teaching hours, maybe doing extra chores or delivering papers etc. to help pay for it)

GuitarStv

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2017, 01:19:22 PM »
Many martial arts schools are little belt factories and try to squeeze as much as they can from students.  (Typically adult students go to a martial arts place for less than eight months, I don't know what the number is for kids, but I bet it's lower.)  You go in, jump up and down for a few hours, then every month or two you pay some extra money to get a new belt.  Tae Kwon Do and Karate places seem to be the biggest offenders for this in my experience.  It can really sour you on martial arts in general, and that's too bad.

Look around where you live for a Judo club if possible.  Most of them are reasonably cheap (operate at or close to cost).  You'll need a heavy weight gi or two and a mouthguard.  You'll be charged the price of the belt after a grading (typically 15-20$) and you probably won't have more than two gradings a year.  They have a more standardized curriculum as outlined by the Kodokan in Japan and then implemented by the national Judo federation of your country.

GizmoTX

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 02:12:41 PM »
It's not 'bilking' if you find value in the activity & are comfortable with the price being charged. If not, MOVE ON.

Some activities need more professional guidance than others. I did not look for the cheapest violin instruction, for example, but neither does being expensive make it good. The value comes with effective learning & having fun. DS started with Suzuki in pre-school after a clear fascination with all things musical; we paid for a weekly half-hour one-on-one lesson that also included a weekly group lesson. Students were expected to listen to an audio recording of the piece they were working on & to practice playing it every day. We had to fire his first teacher for incompetence but then were able to find an absolute gem. Later on he preferred fiddle music & we found an affordable instructor who happens to be a National Grand Master & played in a celtic rock band. DS still plays & enjoys his violin at age 23, now at a very proficient level, but it has never been his career.

We encouraged him to try lots of activities over the years, many of them in short term workshops, day camps, & at school after classes. Cub & Boy Scouts provided a wide variety of low cost activities for him to try out & taught him a lot of life skills.

tonysemail

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2017, 03:23:07 PM »
in general, volunteer led activities like AYSO or little league are really cost effective.
But you may need to dedicate a good amount of time to it and that's easier if one of you is a SAHP.

ahoy

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2017, 01:09:18 AM »
That would seriously annoy me and I to would REFUSE to buy their t-shirt with THEIR logo on it.  If they want you to help, I think they should be supplying the shirts free of charge.   I think it's very rude to request this of the families.

I would only consider picking up the trash if they were a charity, but I still wouldn't purchase the shirt. 





LiveLean

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2017, 07:14:20 AM »
Like anything else, it's about value.

We spend about $3,500 a year on our 14-year-old's swimming. But he swims up to 9x a week over six days (7 if there's a meet), all year long. Our club hosts a lot of swim meets, so we don't have to travel much (but parents must work those meets). Swim equipment is generally inexpensive, especially for boys, even when you're purchasing the occasional $225 competition suit. So $3,500/annually for the amount of time spent is a great value. This likely will increase to $5,000 a year now that he's in high school because of out-of-state swim meets. But it's his only sport/activity.

We spend about $2,000 a year on our 12-year-old's Boy Scout activities. But that includes two week-long summer camps (one out of state), an average of one weekend campout a month, various merit badge classes, supplies, fees, etc. Like swimming, it's expensive but given the amount of time he spends on it, it's a great value. (Heck, some parents would jump at the chance to pay $2,000 a year just to have someone take their kid one weekend a month.)

Since our 12-year-old quit competitive swimming a year ago, he's become more involved with Scouts and also basketball. He's trying out for a quasi-travel/AAU team in October that will take a lot of time, though traveling only within an hour's radius (thus no hotels) and the fee for the six-month season is just $1,000 for everything.

Bottom line: It's like a gym membership. My gym membership costs $35/month and I go 10-12 times a month. But if I went 1-2 times a month, it would be a bad value. If your kids are committed, there actually are good values to be had.
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ManlyFather

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 08:50:51 AM »
You might want to consider learning some new skills of your own, then teaching them to your kids.  This is generally pretty cheap, and also enables you to do the teaching, instead of a "bilker."

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 09:01:13 AM »
That would seriously annoy me and I to would REFUSE to buy their t-shirt with THEIR logo on it.  If they want you to help, I think they should be supplying the shirts free of charge.   I think it's very rude to request this of the families.

The t-shirt thing is another issue. We have to buy t-shirts for everything the child participates in nowadays. Last year, we bought about ten shirts. School field day, a marathon she ran in, vacation bible school (2 during the summer she went to), dance studio shirt, girl scout t-shirts, karate shirts....These t-shirts cost  anywhere from $10 to $15. We're buying them all year long. It's got to stop. When I was a kid, there were no t-shirt requirements, for ANYTHING.

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 09:05:30 AM »
in general, volunteer led activities like AYSO or little league are really cost effective.
But you may need to dedicate a good amount of time to it and that's easier if one of you is a SAHP.

Has anyone here tried the YMCA for these kinds of activities? Or a local church? Some of the large churches in my area give lessons but haven't looked into it yet.

I didn't feel that the fancy, well known dance school my daughter went to was worth what we paid. Her class was on a Monday. Most holidays fall on a Monday, so they didn't have classes those days, adding in Thanksgiving and Christmas and Spring Break, she only went to an average of 3 classes a month, instead of 4.  But we still had to pay the full tuition fee, which I don't find to be fair at all.
And the classes were very expensive.

The dance studio sent out an email this year, apparently, they have 15 or so classes that haven't been filled yet and they're begging students to come back, but not offering even a slight reduction in their exorbitant fees. These people just don't get it. One would think they'd realize why kids aren't enrolling anymore.

acroy

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2017, 09:52:10 AM »

Can we as parents just start saying NO

Yes. my kids have never seen the inside of such places. It is ludicrous.

Then again, many (most) parents are not mustachian, which is why such places exist in the first place - to fill a want!

It's a great time to be alive and have mini money mustaches. we are spoiled for choice ;)
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jax8

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 11:18:45 AM »
There are daycares / studios / private kid sports leagues that just send off a bad vibe.  You get the feeling that children are seen as numbers and quotas for income (because they are) and that it's all business. 

My daughters' dance studio feels more like a school than a for-profit business, and I think that's because the owner is a former director of a performing arts school.  He was a dancer, then he spent the rest of his career teaching dancers at a good salary, and now he's still focusing more on the classroom than the money in his own studio.  His goal is to have 18 year old dancers who can walk into an audition in NY and be 100% prepared to nail it and know exactly what they are getting into.  He hates dance competitions and thinks they are ridiculous--real dancers are hired, not winning a trophy for a studio--but he shrugs and offers a competition team because the Dance Moms want it.  He's on the Dance Masters board, and he knows how the game works.  No one ever gets lower than "high silver" no matter how much they suck, and "high golds" are tossed around easily. And he laughs, because none of these kids can put their studio competition team "wins" on their professional resume.  It's a studio money maker--period.

Contrast him with Becky's Dance, where Becky is a former high school dance team captain who also danced at her local studio, took a few college dance classes, and now is starting her own business.  She needs at least 10 kids in each class to make rent, and more like 15-18 to make it profitable.  She pushes her students to recruit their friends and enter lots of competitions, and she plasters the walls of her studio (and the local paper) with these competition wins.  Parents (and kids) see the trophies and want to join the "good" studio. Becky builds her reputation, her studio, and her income by riding the competition circuit.

As a parent looking just at 1.) the money, and 2.) the slim odds of my daughters becoming ballerinas, I could see this whole thing as a GIANT WASTE OF FREAKING MONEY.  Instead, I look at the side benefits.

1. My girls are being mentored, taught, encouraged, challenged, and stretched for $10 per hour.  If I hired a babysitter who just sat on my couch and kept them out of trouble, it would cost just as much.  When I look at it that way, my dance studio is a bargain.

2. They have a consistent group of friends that are outside of school. When middle school drama hits and BFFs change, my girls still have their dance team mates.  They also have their teachers, who know them and genuinely care about them.  If my girls are dealing with a problem that they don't want to talk to Mom/Dad about, I like knowing they have a support network at the studio that they can turn to.

3. Every hour they are in their activity, it's an hour away from their bedrooms and phones.  Have you read the Atlantic article about today's teen behavior?  The charts and graphs are eye opening. Kids need to get up, get moving, and interact with each other without a phone in their hands.  Dance is a built in (and yes, easy) way for me to make sure they aren't vegging out for hours on end.  Otherwise I'd be begging, enticing, prodding, and punishing my kids to put the screens down and do something else--and frankly, that's annoying and exhausting.  Again, $10 per hour for a class they are happily looking forward to is soooo worth it to me.

As for what's driving these crazy prices and push for kids to be in SOMETHING, my studio owner would flat out tell you it's the parents.  My theory is that many of us (including myself here) use our kid's activities as Family Entertainment.  We're the Dance Family.  (Or hockey family. Or swim team family.  Whatever.)  We spend our weekends at the studio, we know lots of dance terms, we look forward to the next performance and talk about who got what part, we compare and contrast our kids and ourselves to the other families, we make friends there.  It's our community.  We used to be in a community with our neighborhoods or our churches, but now families gather around Kids Sports. 

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2017, 12:31:46 PM »

1. My girls are being mentored, taught, encouraged, challenged, and stretched for $10 per hour.  If I hired a babysitter who just sat on my couch and kept them out of trouble, it would cost just as much.  When I look at it that way, my dance studio is a bargain.

This dance studio, the cost was $25 per hour (per class). And that hour was only fifty minutes, not a full hour.
So to me, not a bargain. It's way out of the range of most other dance schools. We could not continue on with that. Someone told me classes are only that expensive in places like New York City, etc. but we live in Texas.

The people who worked there were nice, but I have no idea why they charged so much for their classes.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 12:34:52 PM by Chesleygirl »

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2017, 12:32:44 PM »

Can we as parents just start saying NO

Yes. my kids have never seen the inside of such places. It is ludicrous.

What do they do as an alternative, do they play any sports?

jax8

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2017, 01:18:03 PM »

1. My girls are being mentored, taught, encouraged, challenged, and stretched for $10 per hour.  If I hired a babysitter who just sat on my couch and kept them out of trouble, it would cost just as much.  When I look at it that way, my dance studio is a bargain.

This dance studio, the cost was $25 per hour (per class). And that hour was only fifty minutes, not a full hour.
So to me, not a bargain. It's way out of the range of most other dance schools. We could not continue on with that. Someone told me classes are only that expensive in places like New York City, etc. but we live in Texas.

The people who worked there were nice, but I have no idea why they charged so much for their classes.

No, $25 per 1 hour class is not a bargain. Was this a dance school associated with a big city ballet company? I'm outside of Pittsburgh and I know the PBT school is more prestigious, but even there a serious 9 year old studying ballet and jazz for 3 days per week equals a yearly tuition of $2,013.  If I divide that by 9 months, then 4 weeks, then 3 classes I get $18.60 per class.

(I kind of lurched a little on that number. Ballet is no joke expensive.)

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Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2017, 02:40:42 PM »

1. My girls are being mentored, taught, encouraged, challenged, and stretched for $10 per hour.  If I hired a babysitter who just sat on my couch and kept them out of trouble, it would cost just as much.  When I look at it that way, my dance studio is a bargain.

This dance studio, the cost was $25 per hour (per class). And that hour was only fifty minutes, not a full hour.
So to me, not a bargain. It's way out of the range of most other dance schools. We could not continue on with that. Someone told me classes are only that expensive in places like New York City, etc. but we live in Texas.

The people who worked there were nice, but I have no idea why they charged so much for their classes.

No, $25 per 1 hour class is not a bargain. Was this a dance school associated with a big city ballet company? I'm outside of Pittsburgh and I know the PBT school is more prestigious, but even there a serious 9 year old studying ballet and jazz for 3 days per week equals a yearly tuition of $2,013.  If I divide that by 9 months, then 4 weeks, then 3 classes I get $18.60 per class.

(I kind of lurched a little on that number. Ballet is no joke expensive.)

Yes, its associated with a ballet company but there are several in our city, and lots of other dance schools as well. So I believe I have options. $18.60 per class would be more reasonable, not $25.00. I looked at the online resumes of the instructors, some have danced professionally; but still, nothing to me justifies paying $25 per class. Of course, if you take multiple classes here they give you a price break. But it's still the costliest ballet school in our area now. And they wonder why their enrollment isn't full this year.

Ballet was not quite this expensive when I was a kid.

mm1970

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2017, 04:56:45 PM »
in general, volunteer led activities like AYSO or little league are really cost effective.
But you may need to dedicate a good amount of time to it and that's easier if one of you is a SAHP.

Has anyone here tried the YMCA for these kinds of activities? Or a local church? Some of the large churches in my area give lessons but haven't looked into it yet.

I didn't feel that the fancy, well known dance school my daughter went to was worth what we paid. Her class was on a Monday. Most holidays fall on a Monday, so they didn't have classes those days, adding in Thanksgiving and Christmas and Spring Break, she only went to an average of 3 classes a month, instead of 4.  But we still had to pay the full tuition fee, which I don't find to be fair at all.
And the classes were very expensive.

The dance studio sent out an email this year, apparently, they have 15 or so classes that haven't been filled yet and they're begging students to come back, but not offering even a slight reduction in their exorbitant fees. These people just don't get it. One would think they'd realize why kids aren't enrolling anymore.
I think it's a little bit tricky.  Every time I think about the cost of various activities (from going to the dentist, to sports, camps, etc.) I remind myself:

- Rent
- Insurance
- Employee salary
- Employee benefits
- Equipment maintenance

So a dance studio, or a gym, or whatever - rent, utilities, etc. can be really expensive.  They need to bring in enough money to pay that AND make a living at it.  How much that costs will depend on the location and what the activity is.

For example, I am in a running group right now, training for a half marathon.  It was $225.  Now, this is a low overhead thing!  But the coach owns a gym.

If you look at the cost per "workout", it's $8.33.  If you consider that the long runs have 9 people in them, then that's $75 per workout.  But there are only 3 per week.  She's not making a living off of that (especially when you consider the weekend workouts are easily 4 hours long).

In any event, I do a cost/ benefit analysis of these things.  Thus:
- I pay for the YMCA.  I don't use it as often as I should.  But I swim, we take the kids to swim, we get discounts on summer camps and sports.
- Kids are in baseball, but it's staffed by volunteers and runs about $300 a year.
- We have specifically avoided expensive activities.
- Summer camps are a mix of cheap and more expensive.  The more expensive tech camps are paying people with programming or science experience to teach kids.  Often credentialed teachers.  I don't expect them to work for $10 an hour.

also I have boys

acroy

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2017, 05:09:59 PM »

Can we as parents just start saying NO

Yes. my kids have never seen the inside of such places. It is ludicrous.

What do they do as an alternative, do they play any sports?

They climb trees, swim, fall out of trees, bike, etc etc. They don't do much organized sports. They get an occasional baseball or flag football series through the local parks n rec or our Church.

The 2 olders run a lawn mowing side hustle and thus some disposable income. They are allowed to spend that on sports if they like; so far it has been limited to an arsenal of Nerf guns and associated wars with the neighborhood kids ;)

As they get older I expect they'll pick up a few sports through the parks n rec. I did the same as a kid.... a lot of basketball, track, etc. I tried martial arts but it didn't hook me. I'll leave it to them as their time & budget allows.
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Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2017, 05:34:53 PM »

They climb trees, swim, fall out of trees, bike, etc etc. They don't do much organized sports. They get an occasional baseball or flag football series through the local parks n rec or our Church.

The 2 olders run a lawn mowing side hustle and thus some disposable income. They are allowed to spend that on sports if they like; so far it has been limited to an arsenal of Nerf guns and associated wars with the neighborhood kids ;)

As they get older I expect they'll pick up a few sports through the parks n rec. I did the same as a kid.... a lot of basketball, track, etc. I tried martial arts but it didn't hook me. I'll leave it to them as their time & budget allows.

That is pretty much what we did as children. We swam in creeks (without life jackets), rode our bikes (without helmets on). Climbed trees, went fishing and other stuff like that. We couldn't even afford the YMCA. But we did take piano lessons for a few years.

I think you're right, those expensive karate schools and other activities where they pile on fees, are not mustachian. I'm not even sure if martial arts is everything it's cracked up to be. "raises self esteem" "prevents kids from being bullied"....I'm not sure if this is true across the board for kids in martial arts.

Some of these schools are just about bilking parents and nothing more.

Goldielocks

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2017, 07:36:54 PM »
That would seriously annoy me and I to would REFUSE to buy their t-shirt with THEIR logo on it.  If they want you to help, I think they should be supplying the shirts free of charge.   I think it's very rude to request this of the families.

The t-shirt thing is another issue. We have to buy t-shirts for everything the child participates in nowadays. Last year, we bought about ten shirts. School field day, a marathon she ran in, vacation bible school (2 during the summer she went to), dance studio shirt, girl scout t-shirts, karate shirts....These t-shirts cost  anywhere from $10 to $15. We're buying them all year long. It's got to stop. When I was a kid, there were no t-shirt requirements, for ANYTHING.

I am volunteering at a kids daycamp this week.  It is a full day, 5 day program, and cost $75 per kid for the week, with discounts for multiple kids in a family.  That includes the t-shirt price.   With the costs for the crafts, and a few paid senior leaders, and the programming costs, we need extra donations every year to pull it off.   That is despite 2/3 of the leaders being volunteer.

T-shirts are essential for the kids camp programs, because we need to be able to spot and track the kids at the outdoor activities / field trips in the afternoon.   If they charge you $10 for those, it is money well spent, but should have been included in the sign up fee.
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Otherwise, let's say you are paying an average of $25 per week for 1.5 hours of class (or close to that).   If you assume that half the cost goes to overhead, that is $8 per hour to be paid to all the staff that work there, that can't typically get paid full time.  X number of kids in the class (e.g., 10 kids), that is $80 per hour for 2 people, or $35 per hour to the staff, who can get only 20 hours per week, 9-10 months a year, so are averaging earning $30k per year as your kids coach or instructor, and need to fill in to earn more money doing something else.

So, if your class is greater than 10 kids, or has only one paid person (not two) on premises for every 10 kids, then the $'s of "bilking" will be different.

TLDR:  $100 per month for 1.5 hours of class time, with 10 kids in a class and 2 instructors / leaders, only pays the leaders $30k/ year on average for part time work. 

Goldielocks

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2017, 07:39:59 PM »
That would seriously annoy me and I to would REFUSE to buy their t-shirt with THEIR logo on it.  If they want you to help, I think they should be supplying the shirts free of charge.   I think it's very rude to request this of the families.

I would only consider picking up the trash if they were a charity, but I still wouldn't purchase the shirt.

When I helped a team pick up garbage, we were given vests (like reflective vests) with the logo on them, that we returned at the end of the hour and were reused by others the next time around. They also handed out the trash picking sticks (reusable).   It worked great for the logos and advertising and cost us ZERO dollars.   Can you suggest that they get some vests made?

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2017, 09:26:38 PM »

T-shirts are essential for the kids camp programs, because we need to be able to spot and track the kids at the outdoor activities / field trips in the afternoon.   If they charge you $10 for those, it is money well spent, but should have been included in the sign up fee.

The problem is, T-shirts are required for all activities now and the expense adds up. Not just camps. They are required for everything. We spent about $100 on t-shirts in just one year. That is crazy.

When I was growing up, kids did all kinds of activities without matching t-shirts. We all managed.

Also, what about just loaning the t-shirts to the kids or have them wear badges on their back or something to identify them...rather than requiring purchase of a t-shirt.

Goldielocks

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2017, 10:18:18 PM »

T-shirts are essential for the kids camp programs, because we need to be able to spot and track the kids at the outdoor activities / field trips in the afternoon.   If they charge you $10 for those, it is money well spent, but should have been included in the sign up fee.

The problem is, T-shirts are required for all activities now and the expense adds up. Not just camps. They are required for everything. We spent about $100 on t-shirts in just one year. That is crazy.

When I was growing up, kids did all kinds of activities without matching t-shirts. We all managed.

Also, what about just loaning the t-shirts to the kids or have them wear badges on their back or something to identify them...rather than requiring purchase of a t-shirt.
I agree about the other activities, one does not need a t shirt to feel part of a group... everyone wearing the same colour is fine..   but after trying to keep track of 8 kids (not mine) at a busy water park with three exits -- the matching t shirts definitely add to the safety element.

ManlyFather

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2017, 07:29:40 AM »

They climb trees, swim, fall out of trees, bike, etc etc. They don't do much organized sports. They get an occasional baseball or flag football series through the local parks n rec or our Church.

The 2 olders run a lawn mowing side hustle and thus some disposable income. They are allowed to spend that on sports if they like; so far it has been limited to an arsenal of Nerf guns and associated wars with the neighborhood kids ;)

As they get older I expect they'll pick up a few sports through the parks n rec. I did the same as a kid.... a lot of basketball, track, etc. I tried martial arts but it didn't hook me. I'll leave it to them as their time & budget allows.

You two hit the nail on the head!

That is pretty much what we did as children. We swam in creeks (without life jackets), rode our bikes (without helmets on). Climbed trees, went fishing and other stuff like that. We couldn't even afford the YMCA. But we did take piano lessons for a few years.

I think you're right, those expensive karate schools and other activities where they pile on fees, are not mustachian. I'm not even sure if martial arts is everything it's cracked up to be. "raises self esteem" "prevents kids from being bullied"....I'm not sure if this is true across the board for kids in martial arts.

Some of these schools are just about bilking parents and nothing more.

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2017, 09:06:23 AM »

They climb trees, swim, fall out of trees, bike, etc etc. They don't do much organized sports. They get an occasional baseball or flag football series through the local parks n rec or our Church.

The 2 olders run a lawn mowing side hustle and thus some disposable income. They are allowed to spend that on sports if they like; so far it has been limited to an arsenal of Nerf guns and associated wars with the neighborhood kids ;)

As they get older I expect they'll pick up a few sports through the parks n rec. I did the same as a kid.... a lot of basketball, track, etc. I tried martial arts but it didn't hook me. I'll leave it to them as their time & budget allows.

That is pretty much what we did as children. We swam in creeks (without life jackets), rode our bikes (without helmets on). Climbed trees, went fishing and other stuff like that. We couldn't even afford the YMCA. But we did take piano lessons for a few years.

I think you're right, those expensive karate schools and other activities where they pile on fees, are not mustachian. I'm not even sure if martial arts is everything it's cracked up to be. "raises self esteem" "prevents kids from being bullied"....I'm not sure if this is true across the board for kids in martial arts.

Some of these schools are just about bilking parents and nothing more.

Just a quick comment -
We are safety conscience, I am a big believer in managing risk, as in, identify the true risks and mitigate them. Especially since we have a pool in the backyard and pools kill people.
- if on wheels or above the surface of earth, helmet is required
- very strict on water safety

Helmet may have saved the 11yr old life when he fell out of a tree, crack on the stone landscaping. Helmet in small pieces, head in 1 piece.

As far as self-esteem, bullying, etc: no issues with that yet. We've had a few instances of rotten neighborhood kid interactions. So far the kids are (rather surprisingly) self-confident and recognize bad behavior for what it is. They have cut off a friend or 2 on their own volition due to poor behavior i.e. "he's a liar" "she's mean".

Eventually they'll run into a true bully, I hope they handle it well, that's a test of character and part of growing up.
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sjc0816

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2017, 09:14:56 AM »
We spend a good amount on sports. We have two boys and they just love team sports. In my opinion, it's only a positive thing that enhances their lives so I definitely see the value. I have a side hustle that pays for their activities. Both kids play football, basketball, baseball and golf. it keeps them busy, active and social. All good things.

mm1970

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2017, 10:58:06 AM »

They climb trees, swim, fall out of trees, bike, etc etc. They don't do much organized sports. They get an occasional baseball or flag football series through the local parks n rec or our Church.

The 2 olders run a lawn mowing side hustle and thus some disposable income. They are allowed to spend that on sports if they like; so far it has been limited to an arsenal of Nerf guns and associated wars with the neighborhood kids ;)

As they get older I expect they'll pick up a few sports through the parks n rec. I did the same as a kid.... a lot of basketball, track, etc. I tried martial arts but it didn't hook me. I'll leave it to them as their time & budget allows.

That is pretty much what we did as children. We swam in creeks (without life jackets), rode our bikes (without helmets on). Climbed trees, went fishing and other stuff like that. We couldn't even afford the YMCA. But we did take piano lessons for a few years.

I think you're right, those expensive karate schools and other activities where they pile on fees, are not mustachian. I'm not even sure if martial arts is everything it's cracked up to be. "raises self esteem" "prevents kids from being bullied"....I'm not sure if this is true across the board for kids in martial arts.

Some of these schools are just about bilking parents and nothing more.
This sounds a lot like my childhood.

I think some differences though:
- I was able to try a few sports (that were done after school).  And I was able to join volleyball in 9th grade and be on the team.  These days, if you aren't playing early, you aren't going to be able to play on the school team.  (My son's school has after school sports leagues in elementary school.  Open to everyone.  That is pretty good.)
- My mom didn't go back to work until I was 12.  We could do all that running around because she was home.  We both work full time.  Which is a blessing and a curse.  We held off on sports until he was 9 and wanted to try baseball. Several of my friends felt I was "depriving" him by not putting him into organized sports.  Um, he didn't want to do it?  He was fine with after school / on campus track and soccer?  So basically he was on campus until 5 pm every day.

In any event, I have several friends who are into martial arts, and I find that they *can* be a very good investment.  Depends on the kid and the dojo.

It's like everything.  It's a balance.  My kid does baseball and flute.  Flute is free at the school, and he's joined the district band (also free, and they bus them to practice 2x a week).  His teacher suggested he join the symphony, which is expanding into winds.  (Also free.)  We'll see how that schedule pans out with baseball, but I don't want him to be too scheduled.  It's up to him.  As an aside, he didn't play at all this summer (doesn't own one).  He's never done the summer camps for music because they are 6 weeks long, 2 hours a day in the morning.  That is not ever going to work with my schedule.

Unscheduled time for kids is GLORIOUS.  If you want your kid in "activities" and your kid wants "activities", do your best to find ones they like that aren't expensive.  Pretty much everything we do is cheap (baseball instead of hockey.  Although they need 2 more baseball coaches right now.  Hope they find them, because we don't know enough about the sport to coach!)  The only expensive activity is swim lessons for the little guy.  We live at the ocean, I'll be paying for those until he can swim independently.  Which will probably be around age 7, like his big bro.

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2017, 12:02:50 PM »
As far as self-esteem, bullying, etc: no issues with that yet. We've had a few instances of rotten neighborhood kid interactions. So far the kids are (rather surprisingly) self-confident and recognize bad behavior for what it is. They have cut off a friend or 2 on their own volition due to poor behavior i.e. "he's a liar" "she's mean".

I think that's an important thing for kids to learn to do: cut someone off. It really is necessary in this world we live in today. I've had to end quite a few adult friendships; the person wouldn't change.

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2017, 12:04:57 PM »
That would seriously annoy me and I to would REFUSE to buy their t-shirt with THEIR logo on it.  If they want you to help, I think they should be supplying the shirts free of charge.   I think it's very rude to request this of the families.

I would only consider picking up the trash if they were a charity, but I still wouldn't purchase the shirt.

When I helped a team pick up garbage, we were given vests (like reflective vests) with the logo on them, that we returned at the end of the hour and were reused by others the next time around. They also handed out the trash picking sticks (reusable).   It worked great for the logos and advertising and cost us ZERO dollars.   Can you suggest that they get some vests made?

I've decided to leave the business, rather than make any suggestions which might be interpreted as "complaints".  A lot of businesses simply aren't open to suggestions from customers. They will keep doing things their way. It's better just to leave.

Now, if I were a business owner, sure I'd listen to my customers, the ones who are paying me.

jax8

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2017, 12:21:47 PM »


- I was able to try a few sports (that were done after school).  And I was able to join volleyball in 9th grade and be on the team.  These days, if you aren't playing early, you aren't going to be able to play on the school team. 

THIS. If you're in a small rural school district, your kids will probably be able to walk onto the middle school and high school teams and have a chance at playing a school sport.  If you're in the suburbs with 1,000+ student graduating classes, the sports teams are full of kids who have been playing and honing their skills since age 5.

Which brings up an interesting point:  Lots of parents are enrolling their kids in expensive sports not because their kids love it, but because they want to give their kid a leg up on being cool and on top of the dog pile in high school. How many of these kid leagues are made for love of the sport vs. grooming for the future?

mm1970

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2017, 02:16:59 PM »
Quote
THIS. If you're in a small rural school district, your kids will probably be able to walk onto the middle school and high school teams and have a chance at playing a school sport.  If you're in the suburbs with 1,000+ student graduating classes, the sports teams are full of kids who have been playing and honing their skills since age 5.

Which brings up an interesting point:  Lots of parents are enrolling their kids in expensive sports not because their kids love it, but because they want to give their kid a leg up on being cool and on top of the dog pile in high school. How many of these kid leagues are made for love of the sport vs. grooming for the future?

I definitely see the "grooming for the future" parents.

But there's a lot of "well-roundedness" parents.   And "tire them out" parents.  Because, of course, as a kid in a rural school, I went home and played outdoors.

My kids are at the school until 5 or 5:30 every day.  Now, luckily, we live in So Cal so they get plenty of outdoor time.  What if we were elsewhere?  An organized sport teaches teamwork, helps with coordination and fitness.  My kid has played 2 years in baseball.  He's still not very good.  Close to the bottom of the batting order.  Just last season finally hit the ball into the outfield for the first time.  But he's learned to get along with others, he's learned strategy, he runs a LOT at practice.  He's learned to throw.  And he's learned disappointment, by not being even close to the best kid on the team.

You know, sometimes kids are assholes.  Our school has a wide variety of kids.  Our 5th grade is very small this year.  And they are assholes.  Remind me a lot of my rural school growing up.   Being smart is "uncool" and so the two smartest kids in the class get picked on.  A LOT.  Day 1 of school, reported by my son (who is not even in the grade):  "Well, one side of the classroom was the girls.  One side was the boys.  And in the middle was Rachel and Ross, because the girls are mean to Rachel and the boys are mean to Ross." (names changed to protect the innocent.  Luckily, both Rachel and Ross are in organized sports outside of school, so they have friends outside of school (and friends in other grades).  But as someone who put up with that shit my entire elementary and high school years, it makes me sad.

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2017, 02:44:27 PM »
Yes. Being "top dog" in high school - jock, cheerleader - is way too important to some parents. I'd like my kids to play musical instruments and wondered, honestly, if they would get bullied because of this. What if my son doesn't like football?  My next door neighbor, a boy, took ballroom dancing lessons and was bullied mercilessly for it by other boys who didn't think it was "manly".

I know some parents in elementary school who are already in to this competitiveness thing. One of them was a dad that sat down on the park bench after school and was talking to me. He decided to openly criticize my daughter, who was only 5 at the time, when he saw her cry about something trivial. He said "she's going to have a hard time in this school, it's very competitive, she's going to get picked on". I stopped talking to him and abruptly got up and walked off. He'd better hope he never sees me again because next time I will say something very ugly to him that he won't forget for a while.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2017, 04:16:39 PM »
Like anything else, it's about value.

We spend about $3,500 a year on our 14-year-old's swimming. But he swims up to 9x a week over six days (7 if there's a meet), all year long. Our club hosts a lot of swim meets, so we don't have to travel much (but parents must work those meets). Swim equipment is generally inexpensive, especially for boys, even when you're purchasing the occasional $225 competition suit. So $3,500/annually for the amount of time spent is a great value. This likely will increase to $5,000 a year now that he's in high school because of out-of-state swim meets. But it's his only sport/activity.

We spend about $2,000 a year on our 12-year-old's Boy Scout activities. But that includes two week-long summer camps (one out of state), an average of one weekend campout a month, various merit badge classes, supplies, fees, etc. Like swimming, it's expensive but given the amount of time he spends on it, it's a great value. (Heck, some parents would jump at the chance to pay $2,000 a year just to have someone take their kid one weekend a month.)

Since our 12-year-old quit competitive swimming a year ago, he's become more involved with Scouts and also basketball. He's trying out for a quasi-travel/AAU team in October that will take a lot of time, though traveling only within an hour's radius (thus no hotels) and the fee for the six-month season is just $1,000 for everything.

Bottom line: It's like a gym membership. My gym membership costs $35/month and I go 10-12 times a month. But if I went 1-2 times a month, it would be a bad value. If your kids are committed, there actually are good values to be had.

I was in Boy Scouts as a kid and we went camping at least one weekend a month and a week-long summer camp (in-state). We would spend $10 for buying food for the weekend (rotated who had to go buy food for everyone after collecting the $10 per head) summer camp was $145 I think. We did some fundraisers but not much. One that worked out well was running a hamburger/hot dog stand at a shooting competition. I know our Scoutmaster paid for a lot of stuff out of pocket like a trailer to haul stuff around, canoes, etc.


Five kids and the only activity we pay for now is swim classes at the public pool one or twice a year. $25 per child for two weeks (eight classes). We've thought about martial arts for the oldest two boys, especially if I could go at the same time. My brother-in-law used to go to a Brazilian jiu-jitsu gym and I think it was about $70/month for him and his son and they had multiple classes/open times per week.

We tried soccer with AYSO and while it didn't cost much (maybe $50-75 per child for uniform, a ball, shoes and shin guards) it took up most of our Saturdays for a few months a year and we stopped after a season. Plus, none of ours kids is all the interested in sports. They'd rather just ride their scooters/bikes or play in the backyard. We homeschool so there's not pressure to be on a sports team or do whatever the popular kids are doing.

I can't see ever doing more than one activity per child at a time, and probably not even that. We might do scouting with our boys but probably won't bother with sports. We have considered buying a used piano and finding someone who would come to our house and teach my wife as well as a few of the kids. Neither of us play any instruments though so it's not a big deal. There's plenty of activities we can do at home that only cost a few dollars or nothing at all.

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2017, 09:29:45 PM »
We tried soccer with AYSO and while it didn't cost much (maybe $50-75 per child for uniform, a ball, shoes and shin guards) it took up most of our Saturdays for a few months a year and we stopped after a season. Plus, none of ours kids is all the interested in sports. They'd rather just ride their scooters/bikes or play in the backyard. We homeschool so there's not pressure to be on a sports team or do whatever the popular kids are doing.

My daughter seems to be only interested in friends, her social life and video games. I'd love it if she were interested in dance, or a sport or music. She doesn't want to develop in those areas, though.

EmFrugal

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2017, 12:50:32 PM »
We live in an extremely HCOL area where most kids are in competitive sports or organized dance or gymnastics classes. My oldest is 6 and in the past I have found myself falling into the trap of signing her up for dance, etc. Now I recognize that she is not interested in any of it to make the expense worth it.

I probably come from an entirely different perspective, but I would rather my children (we have three) have unstructured time to learn things on their own or with a friend or two that shares a similar interest. For example, I would rather my daughter start her own small business or write and illustrate her own books as she does now. For her personality all of this organized stuff just doesn't seem to work well. Though she does seem to enjoy daisies (girl scouts). I'm trying not to let the fear of "my child won't fit in" or "she won't get into college without an organized activity" rule my decisions now. Especially with our attempt to save money. I am choosing to go off the beaten path because in some ways I think that action might wind up making her stand out more and make her happier in the long run.

For my other younger kids, I have no idea what their interests will be. One seems to like soccer and the other seems to have an interest in water (so maybe swimming one day) and music. If they go down those paths, I will allow them to do teams or classes through our community center or volunteer run groups. And if it is music, I would prefer they learn on their own and then participate in school run groups. I imagine that they will get the best value out of a low competition, low stress atmosphere that also happens to be less pricey. I'd love to see them develop skills they can use throughout life because they genuinely enjoyed the experience vs. burning out after awhile and having no desire to engage in the activity again. Obviously interests change, so there is that too.

One other suggestion is to try your local library system. Ours holds free yoga classes for kids so there might be something your daughter would like there that is free or nominally priced.

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2017, 10:24:22 PM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

ManlyFather

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2017, 07:12:42 AM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

Kids cost exactly what you will spend on them.

Dee18

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2017, 08:08:51 AM »
I focused on having my daughter learn skills I thought she would use her whole life: swimming, cycling, tennis, ice-skating, and roller blading. Once the basics of these are learned, one can enjoy them inexpensively. She also did, for a season or two in various years, basketball, softball, swim team, tennis team, soccer and dance through her school (for free except for uniforms) or our community center.  Any of these can turn into an expensive endeavor, with private lessons or coaching, but if you view classes as short term to learn the skill it's not expensive.  Cycling and ice-skating became hobbies we still do together when she's home from college.  At college she regularly plays tennis with friends.

Goldielocks

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2017, 11:05:45 AM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

Kids cost exactly what you will spend on them.

Ha!  Until you need braces, or therapy, or a broken leg, or glasses, or unexpected start of school fees, or ......

jezebel

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2017, 11:32:44 AM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

Kids cost exactly what you will spend on them.

Ha!  Until you need braces, or therapy, or a broken leg, or glasses, or unexpected start of school fees, or ......

Yep (remembering that 3K ER visit...)

ManlyFather

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2017, 01:36:16 PM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

Kids cost exactly what you will spend on them.

Ha!  Until you need braces, or therapy, or a broken leg, or glasses, or unexpected start of school fees, or ......

Yep (remembering that 3K ER visit...)

These sound like complainypants symptoms.

jezebel

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2017, 01:56:22 PM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

Kids cost exactly what you will spend on them.

Ha!  Until you need braces, or therapy, or a broken leg, or glasses, or unexpected start of school fees, or ......

Yep (remembering that 3K ER visit...)

These sound like complainypants symptoms.

You are right - next time the doctor tells me to take my daughter to the emergency room, I'll hang up really quickly and pretend I didn't hear it.

Goldielocks

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2017, 01:59:13 PM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

Kids cost exactly what you will spend on them.

Ha!  Until you need braces, or therapy, or a broken leg, or glasses, or unexpected start of school fees, or ......

Yep (remembering that 3K ER visit...)

These sound like complainypants symptoms.

Not at all, just that with 4 people in a household, you are 4x as likely to run into unexpected and unplanned costs.  No one plans to have a health / medical issue, or something else.   Having a kid can be like renting a car -- sometimes they come with hidden charges that you find out about too late.

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2017, 02:01:32 PM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

OMG, what sport?! My oldest did two years of club soccer. It ran us about $1500/year, including everything: fees, uniforms including bag and jacket and practice uniform, and travel tournaments (only 1 each year required hotel because he wasn't at premier level, thank goodness). It was a pretty good club too. I've heard competitive hockey can get pretty expensive, but $15k/year is outrageous.

We do "1 activity per kid at a time, max". I like to give them each the opportunity to try something out, but I'm not willing to be over-scheduled. We have tried martial arts (expensive, but only lasted 6 months fortunately), dance (cheap through preschool, didn't continue after), gymnastics (thank goodness she decided to be done since it was $$$ but she really, really wanted to try it), and various team sports: soccer, basketball, baseball, and my high schooler has now done football, rugby, and track and field.

As for dealing with the expense, sometimes it's possible to shop around. Dance classes are really affordable though the community rec center. Not so affordable through the "elite" private studios. If we decide to do a team sport we sign up ASAP to get the early bird discount. In high school, there are often fundraising opportunities to offset the requested "donation".

ManlyFather

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #46 on: August 30, 2017, 11:03:19 AM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

Kids cost exactly what you will spend on them.

Ha!  Until you need braces, or therapy, or a broken leg, or glasses, or unexpected start of school fees, or ......

Yep (remembering that 3K ER visit...)

These sound like complainypants symptoms.

Not at all, just that with 4 people in a household, you are 4x as likely to run into unexpected and unplanned costs.  No one plans to have a health / medical issue, or something else.   Having a kid can be like renting a car -- sometimes they come with hidden charges that you find out about too late.

If unexpected costs routinely show up, you shouldn't really be surprised.  I would suggest rereading MMM's complainypants article:

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/07/how-to-tell-if-youre-a-complainypants/

Fun quote: “Oh, listen to that self-aggrandizing thirtysomething who has led a privileged life and doesn’t understand real hardship like I do, because of the following reasons I have it harder than him”, then guess what – you are still a Complainypants. Keep working on it, sucka."

jezebel

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #47 on: August 30, 2017, 12:18:26 PM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

Kids cost exactly what you will spend on them.

Ha!  Until you need braces, or therapy, or a broken leg, or glasses, or unexpected start of school fees, or ......

Yep (remembering that 3K ER visit...)

These sound like complainypants symptoms.

Not at all, just that with 4 people in a household, you are 4x as likely to run into unexpected and unplanned costs.  No one plans to have a health / medical issue, or something else.   Having a kid can be like renting a car -- sometimes they come with hidden charges that you find out about too late.

If unexpected costs routinely show up, you shouldn't really be surprised.  I would suggest rereading MMM's complainypants article:

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/07/how-to-tell-if-youre-a-complainypants/

Fun quote: “Oh, listen to that self-aggrandizing thirtysomething who has led a privileged life and doesn’t understand real hardship like I do, because of the following reasons I have it harder than him”, then guess what – you are still a Complainypants. Keep working on it, sucka."

Who said anyone was "surprised"?  I think you have read something into these posts that is not there.  Referring to certain potential expenses is not the equivalent of complainypants.  They are what they are.  Mustachians are typically well equipped to deal with it.

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #48 on: August 30, 2017, 01:17:10 PM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

OMG, what sport?! My oldest did two years of club soccer. It ran us about $1500/year, including everything: fees, uniforms including bag and jacket and practice uniform, and travel tournaments (only 1 each year required hotel because he wasn't at premier level, thank goodness). It was a pretty good club too. I've heard competitive hockey can get pretty expensive, but $15k/year is outrageous.

They were referring to soccer and football I think. Not hockey. They told me this just recently. And they said $15,000 not $1,500.  Even wealthy parents probably would hesitate to spend that kind of money, just on a sport. However, I live in an area where people throw money around. My city has the highest average consumer debt in the nation. Businesses around here know this and they exploit people who spend freely with money.

I want my kids to do sports but only through the rec centers or YMCA. Or, drive outside of our city to find organized sports that are affordable. The only sports I would say "no" to, are ice hockey and figure skating. Too expensive when you factor in rink time, equipment, etc.

Chesleygirl

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Re: How to deal with expense of kid's activities.
« Reply #49 on: August 30, 2017, 01:22:36 PM »
A parent was telling me just today, that it costs $15K a year for private sports teams, and that's just for the fees. Wow. That's unbelievable.

Kids cost exactly what you will spend on them.

I wouldn't spend $15K a year on any sport, nor would I even consider doing so.

But it means that, knowing this, I have to explore other options.