10/11/2012
The cost of participating in extracurricular and summer activities adds up fast. Just consider the fees and discretionary costs tied to kids’ sports, art and foreign language lessons, dance classes, music instruction and other clubs. While these activities certainly enrich children’s lives, how can parents avoid breaking the bank to provide their children with these opportunities? Ameriprise financial advisors are available to discuss how parents can manage these costs, including:
 
- Ways to assess an activity’s true cost and how to plan for the unexpected expenses that may arise from it.
- How to effectively budget for extracurricular costs and include them in an overall financial plan based on how many children a family has and what kinds of activities they’re involved in or wish to be involved in.
- Steps to reduce costs. Parents can work as a group to determine what expenses they can and can’t help pay and how to get involved in lowering costs by making decisions as a collective group.
- Strategies for parents to communicate with their children about the costs of activities and how to help a child prioritize from a financial standpoint if he or she is interested in too many things.
 
Ultimately, the benefits of enrolling children in extracurricular activities usually outweighs the costs of doing so, but being strategic about the way parents pay these out-of-pocket costs can help them create a more comprehensive budget and better save for their short and long-term financial goals.