Lots of extra activities - how do you afford it all?

(32 Posts)
Pinkspottyegg Mon 07-Jan-13 16:39:12

Perhaps I'm just very naive but those with two or more kids whose children do tons of activities - how do you pay?

Seriously, I don't mean to offend but am genuinely curious. I have two kids. They each do Brownies/Cubs, one does guitar, one does tennis and we all go swimming once a week - this amounts to almost £100 a month averaged out over a year. There are families around with kids who do loads more than mine and/or have more kids doing more than mine. I've just lost all my child benefit and will now have to seriously budget each month so they can continue with these basics.

Are you all just minted?

Booyhoo Sat 12-Jan-13 18:47:51

OP i added up all my dc's activities recently and yes it was £100 a mont averaged out over the year.

but i dont smoke or drink (except a couple of drinks maybe once every 3/4 months), i dont buy music or magazines or books, i have very low travel costs, i meal plan and budget tightly. i'd rather the DC saw the benefit of this £100 than it all get wasted on stuff i dont need.

ds1 is 7 and has scouts, karate, hurling, football and afterschool club twice a week.

ds2 is 3 and has football and tae kwon do. the biggest costs are the martial arts.

FastLoris Sat 19-Jan-13 22:02:17

We're lucky in one sense: I'm a professional musician and music teacher, and teach them myself.

But languages, sports, dance etc still add up to about £250 a month for two DC. Little one is into everything. Older one is quite reserved so when we did manage to find things he took to, we didn't then want to skimp on them.

We have a slightly above average incomes though it has taken a whack with the recession. We're both united in the assumption that kids' activities and support would be the last thing to go though, just as they're about the repossess the house. smile TBH it would just never occur to me not to do it. What could be more important than your kids' education, enjoyment and personal growth? I'm just so happy to have kids who are intelligent, interested, curious, engaged and self disciplined, I'm happy to pay the money and spend the time to see them grow into such amazing people.

Both in state schools too, so £250 a month for two seems like a bargain compared to what some people pay for private.

Molehillmountain Tue 22-Jan-13 20:15:42

I hadn't thought of it like this but we are on what I consider to be a good household income (about to lose some cb) and rarely go out,don't have alcohol routinely, only new clothes for birthday/Christmas or dire need (holes!). Most children's clothes are hand me downs and we don't have fancy hols. Both cars (a luxury anyway) are 8-10 years old. So I guess we spend a lot on children's activities. Dd1 does piano, gym and rainbows. Ds (4) does gym and rugby tots. Dd2 has just stopped sing and sign. The older two do swimming on Sunday with dh, not lessons but a tenner or so with parking. So it's a lot. And I feel it's important that a three get to do the same amount. Music is a priority. We are very fortunate to be able to do it and I don't take it for granted.

Mrsrobertduvall Tue 22-Jan-13 20:23:19

Ds 13 belongs to a golf club...about £200 a year, then football Sunday league about £200 a season, and cricket in the summer.
So he's quite cheap.

Unlike dd 16 whose musical theatre/singing/piano a week costs about £65.
But again, we are state schools,don't have family holidays really (but still go out a couple of times a month for dinner)

Sparklymommy Tue 19-Mar-13 09:38:06

My daughter is 10, she dances but I work in the dance school office to offset the fees. All my children dance there and I pay £10 a week towards there classes. Having said that my oldest does 6 ballet classes a week, a tap, a modern, jazz, street jazz, Greek, two body conditioning classes and the occasional extra! Her younger brother does two ballets, street jazz, modern, tap and body conditioning. Ds2 does street jazz and dd2 does three ballet classes a week so all that for a tenner and a few hours in the office is a bargain in my opinion!

On top of that Dd1 has 11+ tuition 1 on 1 at £25 a week, a singing lesson at £12 a week and at least one private dance class at £12 each week.

These are our priority. We stopped the children having school dinners as that was £40 a week and packed lunches are cheaper. We don't drink, or smoke and rarely go out. In 6 years we've had 1 holiday. Our choice. The kids understand.

musicalfamily Tue 19-Mar-13 15:09:40

We are also not minted at all, only just lost our CB by a small amount and have 4 children, 3 of whom do loads of activities. We average £500 per month. I think we can only afford this as we have paid off our mortgage, if we had our mortgage to pay they wouldn't be able to do as much at all.

By far the most expensive activity is music lessons. Also we are quite frugal, hardly go out, no expensive toys, clothes and do not have any gadgets such as DSs, iPads, Xboxs, Wiis, we still have a battered old TV from the early 90s and only run one car and I only go to the hairdressers once every two years!

passetocoupe Thu 21-Mar-13 19:09:18

My DD is almost 4 and does a pre gymnastics class, ballet, tap and swimming. I've just started teaching her to play the piano (very informally) at home, she's also more or less bilingual as I speak French with her some of the time. So I'm not paying for music or languages. Assuming DD gets her first choice school for September they do swimming from year 1, so only one more year of having to pay for lessons. It's not as bad as it looks.

That said, DD wants to take up more dance classes next year!

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