Tips for saving money on your child’s after-school activities
After school activities can be good for any child. They can help them to build new skills, develop new interests, build up a circle of new friends and allow them to get some exercise.
With so many societies, clubs and schools, like colleges, primary and boarding schools offering after-school activities, kids today have a great deal of choice. However, joining such a club can also result in spending a lot of money, from registering to buying gear and equipment. Here are some top tips to help you cut on costs for when your child joins an after-school activities club.
Registering, discounts and coupons
Some activity groups give discounts for registering early when a new season starts, or for paying ahead of the next season. This can also lead to discounts on new equipment they offer. It’s also worth checking with your local school or college to see if they offer, for instance, music lessons, as they can be cheaper than finding a private tutor.
Clubs can also offer multiple child discounts, which is good if you want to enrol more than one child. So it’s wise to ask if they have a discounting system in place for family members. Some groups, like new clubs or those starting new activities, use vouchers as a promotion technique to attract new members. It’s therefore a good idea to check on voucher sites to look out for daily offers and discounts.
Volunteering and doing trial sessions
Volunteering to help out at your child’s activity club, like as a coach or organiser, can be a big money saver. You might not need to pay for your child’s membership or will get a reduction on price. Even just helping out at occasional club events, like assisting set up equipment for a football match, or helping backstage at a show, could see fees waived or refunds made.
When your child joins a club it doesn’t mean they will continue to enjoy it and stick at it for years to come. To prevent money going to waste, like on registration fees and new expensive equipment, as a result of them quitting just weeks after joining, ask your activities club if you can do a trial run first. The club might allow you to do a few sessions at a discounted price, just to make sure your child likes the activity, before committing to it.
Buying second hand, renting and group buys
A new club doesn’t have to come with new equipment. While things like swimwear and mouth guards are best bought new for hygienic reasons, other clothing and items can be purchased second hand. This can include football boots, sports bats and rackets, musical instruments and art equipment.
Some sports chains sell second hand sports gear at a discounted price. It’s also a good idea to try local colleges to see if they are looking to get rid of spare equipment, which you can buy of them. Another option is to speak to other parents in the club. Their older children, for instance, might have grown out of their sports kit and be looking to sell it on. Or you might have some equipment they need, so you could swap an item for a purchase you want with them. You could also form a group with other parents, so you can buy equipment in bulk, which can also be a cost-saver.
Renting can also be a good option, especially for getting hold of a musical instrument. Some online companies specialise in renting out different musical instruments and deliver them to where you need them. It’s also worth checking with a big local library, as they sometimes have rental services that allow members to rent instruments in addition to books.
From packing dinners for your kids to eat after club nights to creating a carshare with other parents to cost-effectively travel to and from group events, there are many other ways to save money on after-school activities. With such tips in mind, you’ll be able to give your child all the enjoyment an after-school club can bring at a cheaper price.