They say children are like the broke best friends you love, who expect you to pay for everything – with very little idea of what it takes for you to fund their lifestyles.
Of course, we parents could, and do, say no to a lot of things, but when it comes to extra activities beyond their basic education, we want them to lead rich childhoods, packed with experiences, and so they can learn new skills… which, of course, comes at a cost. Especially right now, when we’re in the grips of forking out for school holiday activities.
So, we asked four parents to share exactly what they spend weekly on their children’s activities to get a picture of just how much it costs.
Emily, mum of a 10-year-old – about $350/week.
“With one child, I’m able to stretch the budget a little further. For years, my son did three to four activities a term.
“First, there’s school sport, which is no cost because it is included as part of the school fees. But each term he needs a new uniform, because of the different sports and also, he grows so quickly. So, a cricket outfit he’d wear in first term won’t fit him when cricket starts again in term four. I probably spent $800 a year on sports uniforms alone.
“My son’s also always played two instruments, which cost $1200 a term altogether.
“On top of that, he’ll do different things like art classes, or trampolining. He also did swimming lessons weekly for years.”
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Chelsea, mum of a two and four-year-old – about $190/week.
“My engineer husband works full time, and apart from one day per week when I’m available to work casually as a school teacher, I’m at home with the kids full time.
“Every week we do the following:
- Swimming lessons: $20 per child
- Ready Steady Go: $20
- Violin lesson: $46
- Violin group lesson (every second week): $20
- Violin hire: $10
- Kindy gym: $15
“So all in all, an average of maybe $190 per week.”
Elsie, mum of four children – about $135/week.
“I have four kids, so we have to limit the activities.
“My eldest does Scouts, swimming lessons and art class – $50.
“My daughter does Cubs, swimming and art – $50.
“My six-year-old does Joeys and swimming – $25.
“My youngest does Little Kickers – $10.
“So that’s a total $135 a week for the family, and I think they do enough for that amount. It adds up quickly.”
Amelia, mum of an eight-year-old, five-year-old and newborn baby – about $50/week.